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EXCLUSIVE: Massive Hi Fi Industry Merger As Qualifi Take Over Denon & Loewe

By David Richards | Monday | 20/05/2013

BREAKING NEWS: Some of the biggest brands in the Australian Hi Fi market are set to be merged into one mega distributor with the Loewe Denon, NAD, PSB, Loewe, AKG (personal audio products), Tannoy (residential products) along with Niles, Elan, Sunfire, Xantech set to be taken over by Melbourne based Qualifi the distributor of the Marantz range.

In an exclusive interview with ChannelNews Ken Dwyer, Managing Director of Audio Products Group who up until today distributed the products set to be taken up by Qualifi, said that the merger was "by mutual consent".

Michael Henriksen the CEO of Qualifi said that the consolidation of the brands under one distributor "made sense" due to shrinking margins, higher costs and the "consolidation" that the consumer electronics industry is facing to survive.

Ken Dwyer said that the APG Group will continue to trade in the Pro AV and Commercial markets.

"The consumer market has changed under the new arrangement all APG staff who worked in our consumer division will be employed by Qualifi. They will work from their current desks at APG in Sydney until Qualifi has set up a Sydney office" 

Qualifi currently has the Marantz, Jamo, ZVOX, Stealth Acoustics, MK, Forte brands in their portfolio; a range which Henriksen claims will give them "unprecedented strength"  in the market.

The merger will be effective from 1 July 2013.

Philip Hawkins from Qualifi will become General Manager, Ralph Grundl also from Qualifi will be responsible for Marketing and Steve Gerry will be National Sales Manager. Ken Dwyer has been invited to join the Qualifi Board of Directors.

All past and future warranty obligations on all the groups' CE and CI brands will be assumed by Qualifi as from 1 July 2013.

More to follow.

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