Interview: Arturo Vicari, RCF

RCF Interview Image

RCF has bought one of its rivals in the pro audio world in EAW, so Paul Milligan spoke to RCF CEO, Arturo Vicari, to find out what the deal means for both companies.

The buying and selling of companies is often purely down to timing. Do you have a gap in your portfolio that needs filling? Is there some cash in your business that could be put to better use? The news that Italian manufacturer RCF Audio had bought EAW (Eastern Acoustic Works) in early September from Loud Audio (part of Transom Capital Group) was one such deal. Loud was looking to focus purely on its Mackie brand, having previously sold Ampeg to Yamaha in April and Martin Audio to a management buyout in July.

Speaking to Arturo Vicari, CEO of RCF Group, I asked him how the deal came about; “We have always followed developments in the market and been in touch on several different occasions. This year the conditions for this deal began to materialise with Transom Capital Group and we were able to reach a mutually beneficial result. We were extremely glad to see such a positive reaction from the market.” The deal was met favourably on the EAW side of things too, as TJ Smith, president of EAW, said at the announcement of the sale: “For those who love EAW it is difficult to imagine a better scenario. From the first moment this possibility started to materialise it has been clear that joining forces with RCF Group is a great opportunity for EAW.”

So what can being part of RCF’s business do for EAW going forward, and how does Vicari think RCF can improve EAW from its current position? “EAW will be able to count on the necessary investment in order to reinforce the organisation, to continue expanding the products offering and to improve the service and support to its customers”.

I then asked Vicari if there were any gaps in the RCF product portfolio that EAW could help fill, or vice-versa? “The companies in the RCF Group have their own identities and their core business comes from different backgrounds and perspectives. Each company will continue to develop products and solutions suitable for their customers and markets. Being part of a solid group will enable all companies to keep growing with more resources.”

So if the companies are to maintain separate identities, will they share the outcomes of each one’s R&D departments, or will R&D for both companies now just come from RCF maybe?

“The industry is more and more competitive and it is important to react quickly to market demand, and be able increasingly to offer complete solutions. Investment is constantly required to update products, technological solutions and service, the experience and the know-how of the two companies will help EAW to improve its product portfolio creating synergies within the RCF Group. The brand will absolutely remain EAW and will continue to act as an independent company so will the R&D and all the other business units.”

Finally, I asked Vicari if we might see RCF buying more audio brands in the foreseeable future? “The RCF group is expanding and follows market developments very carefully in order to evaluate all the opportunities that might arise, we can say that this wasn’t just a one-off deal.”