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AUTOMATION / REMOTE CONTROLS

Philips Uses Exit Statement To Flush Out Buyer For Pronto Business

By David Richards | Sunday | 07/11/2010

Speculation is mounting that Philips may have been crying "wolf" when they announced that they were set to shut down their Pronto control business with insiders now claiming that the actions of last week were designed to flush out a buyer.


According to Michael Henriksen the Managing Director of Qualifi, which distributes Pronto products in Australia, the Pronto operation has been "Up for sale" for some time.

"It would not surprise me if they are trying to flush out a buyer with their announcement last week that they were going to shut the operation down," he said.

According to sources in Asia, Philips has been engaging with potential acquirers of the remote control and home automation line for several months but no one has put a satisfactory offer on the table for the IP and brand name. Philips was hoping that an IP automation company would want to capatalise on the IP as several companies move to software applications that can be used on Smartphones and iPads or a new generation of Google Tablets.

On Friday CE Pro in the USA said that the demise of Philips Pronto may have been exaggerated. CE Pro has learned that Philips may sell its remote-control division after all, even after announcing last week that it would simply close the Belgium-based business.

Evidently, Philips received so much interest in the product since the announcement of its demise, that the company is now entering discussions with suitors.

Philips had reported earlier that a "suitable partner for the acquisition" could not be found, despite "thorough research."

In an effort to stay competitive with a new generation of IP enabled devices Philips elaunched the TSW9500 in-wall touchscreen and the new CRX controller integrating Lutron lighting, IP cameras, an A/V receiver and traditional A/V controls.

Philips said this week "There is no news right now on how Philips will use its IP and trademarks related to the Pronto business."

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