By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Chula Vista, Calif. – The sale of Soundcast Systems to industry veteran Jeremy Burkhardt has fallen through, but Soundcast’s current owners plan to inject “substantial new capital” into the company.
President Mike Weaver announced that he plans to add sales and marketing staff and to improve customer service.
Soundcast’s owners and Burkhardt had set an “aggressive” 90-day deadline for closing the deal, but the process took longer than expected, Weaver told TWICE. At that point, “the existing ownership looked at their options and decided not to extend the deadline,” he explained. Industry response to the company’s first two Bluetooth products played a key role in changing the owners’ minds, Weaver said.
The deal didn’t fall through because Burkhardt, the former SpeakerCraft executive, was unable to come up with the money, nor was it due to “anything he saw wrong at the company,” Weaver said. “It was just an aggressive timeline. The date came and passed.” The deadline date was last week.
The two products that Soundcast expects to boost its fortunes will ship in production quantities in June. They consist of an AC/DC Bluetooth speaker and a Bluetooth dongle, which will plug into existing indoor/outdoor Outcast speakers. Those portable AC/DC weather-proof speakers stream music wirelessly via proprietary 2.4GHz technology from a PC or from a tabletop iPod/iPhone dock up to 300 feet away.
The products, Waver claimed, “will be a game-changer for us,” Weaver said. The Bluetooth speaker alone, he said, will double the company’s sales.
Burkhardt said in a prepared statement, “Things like this happen, and I respect the management team’s decision to not extend the deadline. The past few months have been amazing working with people and products that I love, and my passion for the industry has never been so strong.”
Oscar Ciornei will remain head of business development, a position he was to retain under Burkhardt’s ownership. Weaver would have also stayed on as president under Burkhardt.
Weaver’s first hire since the deal fell through is Nick Berry, who will head up the in-house sales team. He was also going to take that position under Burkhardt’s ownership.
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