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Popular FRITZBOX Router Manufacturer AVM Ponders Sale

Monday, Oct 2nd, 2023 (9:43 am) - Score 1,632
AVM-FRITZBox-Broadband-Routers

Reports coming in from Germany over the past couple of weeks appear to suggest that AVM, which manufactures the popular FRITZ!Box range of broadband ISP routers and smart home devices (these are widely used in the UK too), could be sold on to new owners as a way of preserving the company’s future.

The company was originally founded in Berlin (Germany) during 1986 and has been busy growing its influence ever since. AVM is often considered to be one of the top two manufacturers of broadband devices in Europe and holds an impressive market share in their home country. A number of UK ISPs, such as Zen Internet, have also adopted their routers after the manufacturer became popular with enthusiasts over this side of the channel too.

Just to be clear about something, AVM itself remains in a seemingly healthy state – in 2022 they reported sales of 620 million Euros (up 9%), with operating profit of between 80 and 90m euros, and employs around 900 people. Put another way, all the talk about a possible future sale does not appear to be linked with an immediate weakness in the business.

According to those reports (here and here), the company’s founders – who started the business when they were just students – are conscious of the fact that they’re approaching 70 years old and want to ensure that “AVM’s success continues, even if they are no longer with the company one day.”

The investment bank Lincoln is allegedly preparing an auction process and is already said to have received some interest from private equity investors, but nothing has yet been officially confirmed.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
10 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Lucian says:

    “AVM’s success continues, even if they are no longer with the company one day.” – famous last words.

    Never owned a Fritzbox and surely enough will not consider one now or in the future. The new owner will no doubt try to extract as much £$ from it possible thus ruining it, cue “AI”, “cloud” etc.

  2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

    Always liked Fritzboxes, they’re very feature packed but don’t require deep technical knowledge to set up, and they aren’t anywhere near as buggy as Ubiquiti (in my experience)

    I was in Germany a while back and thought it was interesting that the local electronics shops dedicated masses of space to AVM’s product line – including ones with built in cable modems and FTTP (I think it’s actually active ethernet, not PON).

  3. Avatar photo PoweredByVeg says:

    I own a fritzbox and I’m very happy with it, never needs rebooting. Has a lot of features but it’s just a shame it’s so dam ugly so I keep it hidden in the spare bedroom.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder 🙂 . A fair few others may appreciate the fact that they do something different from the usual rectangular black block.

  4. Avatar photo Nigel Jones says:

    The Fritz boxes I have are the most reliable routers I’ve ever had. They perform well, have really low latency. Enough sociability for simple configurations with lots of really nice thoughts. Very impressed overall

  5. Avatar photo Shaun McDonald says:

    I wonder if they have family in the business who they could pass it on to, or turn it into a cooperative model to avoid shareholders or private equity from running such a good brand.

    I’m also in the camp of someone who uses their routers via Zen, and have found them to be very reliable with only one release a few years ago where their was a weird bug that caused issues, which was fixed in the following release.

    1. Avatar photo Lucian says:

      Yes, employee owned (a la John Lewis & partners) could make the company very robust and possibly most future-proof, no idea if they have that in Germany though or how it would work.

  6. Avatar photo - says:

    I’m not sure what size I thought avm was but I was assuming around a tenth of that! Pretty healthy business, that looks like at least 10 Million units a year. They have an excellent product I love mine and have purchased several different models. The problem is they never get past marketing/Focus groups for widescale deployment because they’re *ugly*. They could almost certainly sell more if they reduced the amount of red involved and made it look a bit less ‘geeky’/90s.

    Hope they don’t get bought by PE, that would really suck.

  7. Avatar photo Doug Manton says:

    I’m a big fan, not least because they’ve sent me two free routers to test over the years after I sent them sample configs to solve UK-specific problems (including compliance with Openreach SIN 503).

    I now have a very neat single-box Fritz!Box FTTP solution using an SFP+ GPON module, additionally paired to my DECT handsets for VoIP. Such a neat solution and completely rock solid.

    1. Avatar photo Peter Herman says:

      That’s really interesting Doug. May I ask what model you use and what ISP?

Comments are closed

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