American TV manufacturer Vizio has been acquired by Chinese company LeEco for $2 billion, the companies announced at an event in Los Angeles. Vizio’s founder is leaving.
The Vizio brand will remain
When you go to your local electronics store next time you will continue to find Vizio TVs on sale. The Vizio brand will remain and be operated as a wholly-owned independent subsidiary in Irvine, California, under its new parent company LeEco.
- “As the owner and father of Vizio, I’m really reluctant to let it go. But as the CEO and owner of the company, I know this is the right decision to make for our hard-working employees and loyal shareholders,” said Vizio founder William Wang
Vizio has often topped sales charts in the US TV market together with Samsung, making it the largest TV manufacturer in the US. The company has yet to expand to most other parts of the world.
LeVision is a movie studio
Most of us have probably only heard LeEco mentioned by name but in China it is a major player.
- “Vizio is a critical part of LeEco’s entry into the U.S. market,” said Winston Cheng, SVP at LeEco.
The company started a video streaming service in 2004 and is today producing movies in Chinese and soon English from its LeVision branch. It co-financed ‘The Expendables 2’ and intends to release 20 English-language movies, including ‘The Great Wall’ staring Matt Damon.
In China, LeEco is delivering its streaming services on its own devices that include TVs and smartphones. With Vizio the company hopes to replicate that success in the US.
Former Paramount and Dreamworks president Adam Goodman was also on stage at the event. He said that TVs in the living room will play a much bigger role for Hollywood in the future as TVs get bigger and better.
- “It’s the future of entertainment,” said Goodman.
The executive team of Vizio will stay except for Vizio founder and CEO, William Wang, who will leave the company to focus on Inscape (Vizio’s ad targeting company) that will be spun off. Vizio will license Inscape’s services for 10 years, collecting data on TV users. No CEO successor for Vizio has been announced.
The LeEco deal is expected to close in the last quarter of 2016. It is an all-cash deal valued at $2 billion.