SkullCandy (SKUL) headphones.
SkullCandy, the headphones brand out of Park City, UT, that has taken designer headphones to a new level, and leverages many key action sports pros, musicians, and others in unique collaborations, announced that on April 22, they bought Astro Gaming, based in San Francisco, which makes gaming headphones, for $10.8 million.
The combination makes total sense especially if SkullCandy is moving in the direction of gaming, and interested in Pro player sponsorships. Speculation has been created that SkullCandy’s direction may mean they are moving into the Pro Gamers scene.
SkullCandy exhibits at many fashion trade shows.
The story gets even more interesting however, with the news that SkullCandy disclosed a net loss of $9.7 million last year, compared with a $13.5 million profit the year before. Its revenue rose $35.7% to $160.6 million based on greater sales in large retailers, but a huge chunk of $17.5 million was cut-out due to a one-time charge of management incentive bonuses.
It also spent an additional $5.2 million on advertising and marketing, and $1 million on legal fees, which further cut into profits.
Interestingly, SkullCandy registered to IPO (under SKUL) at the same time that Rick Alden, the founder, was stepping down.
The designer headphone scene continues to be a crossover between accessories, music, and fashion, with brands from WESC (one of the originals to come out with a designer headphone collection), to Nixon, to various collaborations such as Dr. Dre and Monster Cable creating designer headphones, among many others.
This subculture is important to watch when it comes to youth culture, especially as accessories, including wearable technologies, have become very important, often surpassing actual apparel fashion as the key aspect of personal style.
Astro Gaming was backed by Astro Gaming was backed by Triangle Peak Partners LP and Fayez Sarofim & Co.