Harman Kardon the US sound and vision Company has made a part takeover offer for D&M Holdings the maker of the Denon and Marantz brands of speakers. Japanese media sources are claiming that Harman International Industries has offered to buy 49 percent of the company for US$701 million.
As a result of the rumoured offer in the Japan-based D&M shares in the Company rose 31 percent higher in early morning trading in Tokyo. The number of bids outnumbered offers to sell by more than three to one according to Bloomberg. D&M has fallen 44 percent this year after climbing 3.5 percent in 2007.
Bloomberg also said that Harman’s offer was in response to an invitation for tenders by Brussels-based RHJ International, which owns a 49 percent stake and will select a buyer as early as April 2008. Also looking to sell a 12% holding is Philips who at one stage distributed the Marantz brand in Australia.
Currently Marantz is distributed by Qualifi with Denon product distributed by Audio Products Group. Convoy and Conexus distribute the Harman products in Australia which also include the JBL brand.
Geoff Mathews Marketing Manager at Convoy said “This is a marriage made in heaven Harman get access to consumer manufacturing and some excellent brands while D&M get access to better marketing. It is also a situation where all of the brands from both Harman and D&M can survive in a highly competitive market”.
He added “Both Companies have quality brands and would be complementary to each other”. Japanese- based D & M Holdings portfolio consists of companies in the premium audio and video consumer and professional markets. From the emerging entertainment-driven home networking market to the flourishing home theatre and custom-installation markets, the company owns the likes of Marantz, Denon, Boston Acoustics, Snell Acoustics and Escient.
The company’s consolidated revenue for the first nine-month period ended December 31, 2007 totalled JPY 83.8 billion, an 18 per cent increase over the same period in 2006. Revenues in the Consumer and Commercial AV segments were JPY 59.1 billion and JPY 24.7 billion respectively.
An interesting point was the company’s expansion into Eastern Europe, where sales, for all brands combined, increased 45 per cent compared to the same period in late 2006.
Harman Kardon began defining high-fidelity audio in 1954 with the world’s first high-fidelity receiver, the first ultra-wide-bandwidth amplifier and the first cassette deck with Dolby B-type noise reduction.
In recent years, the company Harmon Kardon partnered with Apple to design & manufacture the Harman Kardon iSub 2000 Subwoofer and Soundsticks. The New York-based company is also the main auto audio supplier for BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, SAAB and Harley-Davidson.
In terms of earnings, net sales for the last quarter of 2007 totaled $US1.066 billion, a 14.4 per cent increase compared with $US932 million for the same period in 2006. Net income was $US43 million for the same quarter, down from $81 million.
Earlier this year, the company said it will offer greater integration and connectivity of audio and entertainment systems. These include the Harman Digital Lounge, a “store within a store” merchandising concept for retailers, and the Harman/Kardon DMC 1000 Media Server that delivers content to as many as four separate household zones.