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Pioneer is spinning off its DJ hardware business to focus on cars

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If you've been in a club at any point in the last couple decades, odds are very good your ears have been exposed to Pioneer music equipment: its CDJ decks and DJM mixers are something of a standard in DJ booths around the world (so much so, in fact, that competing decks and controllers often strive to match the feel of the CDJ's jog wheel). But now, Pioneer's selling that iconic part of its business to private equity firm KKR so it can focus on its automotive electronics unit, a burgeoning business thanks in part to the launches of Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto (Pioneer has committed to supporting both). The deal is valued at around ¥59 billion, roughly $551 million.

The new business will be called Pioneer DJ — so the name isn't going away, at least in the short term — and should be off to a strong start: the company boasts of a 20 percent operating margin and 60 percent market share, numbers that are hard to come by anywhere in the electronics business. The decision to sell is fueled partially by Pioneer's admission that growing the DJ unit would require a substantial cash infusion, and it'd rather focus on cars.

Now, vibe to Pioneer's official demo of its high-end DJM-2000nexus mixer from British group Monsta: