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COMMENT: Sale Of Marantz & Denon Heralds A New Era For Two Iconic Hi Fi Brands

The sale of D+M to Sound United, ends one era and starts another for tow iconic Hi Fi brands, it could also result in a major investment in the Denon and Marantz brands.

As for the Boston, Acoustic brand there is speculation that the brand will be killed off following the acquisition of D+M by the US Sound Company who are tipped to now start investing in the two main D+M brands.

For the past five years D+M which was purchased initially by Bain +Co have not invested in the development of the two brands at the levels needed to accelerate the brands in the market up against several new players.

Struggling to raise capital for D+M following the global financial crisis Bain + Co sold a major share of the Japanese based sound Company to Goldman Sachs who for the past 18 months have been shopping the D+M brand around potential buyers.

Sound United LLC, parent company to Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, and Polk BOOM, overnight announced it has completed the acquisition of the D+M Group, who own the Denon, HEOS by Denon, Marantz, and Boston Acoustics brands.

The D+M Group is the largest supplier of audio/video receivers worldwide and a leader in wireless multi-room audio.

Sound United is the largest supplier of loudspeakers in North America and a leading supplier of sound bars and wireless music systems. The combined company will be known as Sound United, which will own and operate some of the most prestigious brands in the consumer audio space, providing synergy opportunities for the existing core businesses, while also unlocking the potential to expand the product portfolio and market reach. The sale was finalized on xx and the terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The move has been welcomed by Qualifi management the distributors of the Denon and Marantz brands in Australia.

Back in 2008 Bain under the leadership of Mitt Romney an American businessman and politician who served as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election, launched a tender offer for shares in D&M Holdings.

At the time RJH International, the listed arm of Ripplewood, another US fund, agreed to sell its 49 per cent stake to Bain.

Philips, the Dutch electronics group also sold it’s 12 per cent stake.

At the time Bain’s move on D&M was made easier by the fact that the company has already passed through private equity ownership.

Ripplewood, which made a series of acquisitions in Japan at the start of the decade, they created D&M in 2002 after splitting Denon from parent Columbia Music and buying Marantz from Philips.

D&M then moved to expand their business buying small, high-end audio manufacturers in the US and Europe, they include the Macintosh brand and Boston Acoustics.

At the time, other contenders for D&M had included the private equity arm of Merrill Lynch, the US electronics retailer Best Buy, and Advantage Partners, a Japanese buy-out fund.

Per Sound United sources the Company is set to move quickly to integrate the D+M brands into their operation.

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