Like Penelope when Odysseus went on his epic jaunt around Greece, Turtle Beach has been talking to hundreds of potential suitors, in the hopes of a match. Essentially, the peripheral company wants someone to buy it, to save it from itself. However, its search for love is not going well.
There’s a lot to digest there, but here goes. The peripheral company best known for its cheap console headsets, simulator gear, and controllers (and owner of PC-focused brand Roccat) has been going through a period of upheaval. One that could see some of its upper management out of a job and the company’s future in the hands of another in just a few months’ time. It’s all rather scandalous, actually.
To understand what’s going on with Turtle Beach and why it’s looking for a sale in the first place, you need to go back a few months to a potential buyout bid from hedge fund and part owner, Donerail.
Aggressive boardroom antics
The Donerail Group (opens in new tab) is a major shareholder of Turtle Beach, one that has been generally upset with the performance of the peripheral company. Because of that, it proposed buying the company back in August 2021. At the time, Turtle Beach’s board wasn’t interested, claiming it couldn’t verify the legitimacy of the fund’s offer.
So Donerail switched tact. It decided to instead seek the dismissal of Turtle Beach’s existing board members and replace them with its own. For this, it would need the support of the company’s shareholders and a successful vote at the annual shareholders meeting on June 7, 2022.
Donerail published a press release on March 22 with the names and credentials of the six people (opens in new tab) it wanted to run Turtle Beach, noting that it believed “wholesale change is urgently needed in Turtle Beach’s boardroom in order to catalyze enhanced value creation.
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That could see changes to Turtle Beach and Roccat brands and how they’re managed or marketed, though its new directors’ exact plans should that come to pass are not yet clear.
To make matters worse for Turtle Beach, it just today announced its second quarter results (opens in new tab), which are generally down on last year. Net revenue loss is a reported $17.8M, and the company says that’s down to “ongoing macroeconomic headwinds,” which is the go-to phrase of many companies in PC gaming right now—Intel and Nvidia among them.
It’s really not a great time to be trying to find a buyer for your company, as everyone battens down the hatches for a few rocky quarters, if not longer.