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Cerwin-Vega Hunts For A Buyer

9/02/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

SIMI VALLEY, CALIF. — Cerwin-Vega is close to selling the company following a severe cash crunch that forced it to cut its U.S. workforce in half over the past five months, the company said.

The company, family-owned since its founding in 1954 by Gene Czerwinski, didn't say who the new owner might be or what it plans for the brand. Cerwin-Vega sells into the home, car and pro audio markets.

The most recent layoffs occurred in late September, reducing the U.S. employment rolls to about 100. The company has been up for sale since June.

The economy, prolonged softness in the home speaker market and the loss of Best Buy in March as a car speaker account contributed to the company's cash crunch, said Ed Mims, worldwide executive director of sales and marketing. Another contributing factor was the longer than expected chainwide rollout by Best Buy of a new home speaker series. The rollout took 100 days instead of the 30 days originally planned by the chain, Mims said.

Best Buy accounted for more than 20 percent of Cerwin-Vega's home and car audio sales, Mims noted.

Cerwin-Vega is headed by president Connie Czerwinski, daughter of the founder.

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