On August 9th, 2023, Avid Technology Inc. entered a “definitive agreement” to be acquired by private equity firm Symphony Technology Group (STG).
STG is apparently paying $1.4 billion (all cash) for the acquisition. Avid will revert back into a private company, and their stockholders will receive $27.05 per share in cash.
So what does all this mean for users of Pro Tools, Sibelius, and Media Composer?
Why Are Users Concerned About the Avid Acquisition?
Private equity firms like STG typically invest in properties with the intention of flipping them for profit a few years later. In practice, that usually involves restructuring the company, reducing expenses, or selling off assets.
But there’s always a risk. Businesses bought by private firms have a bankruptcy rate of 20% (compared to 2% for others).
Whether Avid goes bankrupt or not, the acquisition still gives many of their customers pause.
For starters, internal restructuring will likely result in many Avid staff getting laid off. This could have a few consequences that affect their customers:
- The quality of Avid’s products could drop
- Customer service could also take a huge dip in quality
Then there’s the possibility that STG could sell off some of Avid’s assets or shut down parts of the business. So hypothetically, Sibelius and Media Composer could be sold off to other companies, or the AvidPlay service could be shut down entirely.
Of course, those are only hypothetical situations. But the point still stands, Avid buyout could be even more disruptive to customers than anyone else.
Release your tracks on top streaming platforms all over the world — from Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal to Instagram, TikTok, and more. The annual fee lets you upload unlimited stereo tracks to all these services.
What About the Potential Benefits?
Usually, I’m a “wait and see” kind of person. So I won’t buy into the music community’s frustration and fear-mongering just yet.
I’m no business analyst, so this is all just wishful thinking on my part. But I’m hoping in the end that the whole situation could be a net positive for Avid and their customers.
In recent years, Avid seems to have taken advantage of their status as the “industry standard”. Their pricing has gotten more and more aggressive, and users regularly complain about poor customer service experiences.
That could all change for the better if the right leadership at Avid changes. But there’s no way of knowing at this point.
When Will the Avid Buyout Be Completed?
The deal should be finalized sometime later this year (Q4 2023). So don’t expect any major changes with your Pro Tools, Sibelius, or Media Composer licenses until next year in 2024.
Ready to Switch From Pro Tools? Try These Alternatives
With the buyout looming on the horizon, you might be looking to move on from Avid software. If you’re in the market for a new DAW, try looking into these Pro Tools alternatives. There’s something there for every type of musician and audio engineer.