By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
SpeakerCraft got its second new owner in a little more than three years.
Carlsbad, Calif.-based Linear Corp. purchased the custom-installation supplier six months after acquiring multiroom audio/video specialists ELAN Home Systems. In the past few years, it also acquired the Xantech, ChannelPlus and OpenHouse brands.
Linear is a worldwide supplier of wireless residential security systems, intercoms, garage door operators, RF remote controls and medical/emergency reporting systems. In recent years, Linear entered the consumer electronics and residential custom-install markets through acquisition.
Linear parent Nortek, which is privately held, offers building, remodeling and indoor environmental control products for residential and commercial markets.
Each acquisition "over the past four years was made on the basis of its core product capability and its ability to function both autonomously and as a member of the team," said Linear president Grant Rummell.
SpeakerCraft executive Jeremy Burkhardt, who becomes SpeakerCraft president, said the sale would enable the company to "accelerate growth and enter new product categories." Burkhardt, who said he is an owner of the parent company, also said he doesn't intend to change SpeakerCraft's current sales or distribution policies, increase the number of dealers in a given market, or change the brand's limited distribution philosophy.
In early 2000, a group of private investors purchased SpeakerCraft, which announced intentions to buy an electronics manufacturer to develop products that would turn the combined companies into a full-line custom-install supplier.
The group included SpeakerCraft executive Burkhardt and two former Super Glue executives, Jim Munn and Bob Cavazos. The two were Super Glue's CEO and CFO, respectively. The three bought out the shares of partners Ed Haase, who was president, and Jeff King, a silent partner.
Haas, who founded the company in 1976, decided to retire, as did King. Burkhardt was a minority partner in the firm.
SpeakerCraft was founded in 1976 by Haase to build in-wall, in-ceiling and outdoor speakers on an OEM basis. In 1994 the company launched its own-brand speaker line, and in 2000, it introduced its first custom-install amplifiers. Following the 2000 change of ownership, the company entered into other related custom categories.
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