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Directed Electronics Buys Definitive Technology

9/27/2004 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Directed Electronics has added home-speaker maker Definitive Technology to its brand portfolio. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sandy Gross, one of three Definitive co-founders, has been named president of Directed's newly formed home audio division and appointed to Directed's board. Gross founded Definitive in 1990 along with Don Givogue and Ed Blais. They will stay with the company.

“Definitive wanted to take a strong position in the home audio and home theater area,” said Gross. “They liked what we've done and how we're doing it, and they want to empower us to grow that.”

Directed is the world's largest vehicle-security and remote-start company and a major supplier of mobile audio and mobile video products. Directed manufactures as Viper, Clifford and Python security and remote-start brands and supplies mobile audio equipment under the Orion, Precision Power, a/d/s/ Mobile, Directed Audio and Xtreme brands. Directed also sells mobile entertainment products, including LCD monitors and DVDs under the Directed Video name.

In 2001, Directed purchased a/d/s, putting the 12-volt company into the home audio business.

“Directed was impressed with our engineering facility and staff,” so Definitive personnel will continue to run engineering as well all other operations for Definitive products, including sales, marketing, customer service, order fulfillment and technical support, Gross said. Those employees will remain in Owing Mills, Md.

Directed will add to Definitive's strength in several ways, including capital, Gross continued. “There's a good chance we'll get more field support [for dealer training],” and Directed will improve the brand's internal information systems, he said.

Directed “is not threatening at all to specialty dealers in terms of who they are and what they do,” Gross stressed. Definitive dealers who have been Directed dealers have had “an extremely positive experience.”

Definitive doesn't plan to open new distribution channels, but there's “certainly a possibility we'll move into other product niches,” Gross said. One might be a more aggressive stance in custom-installed speakers. Definitive “will be examining car audio with a careful eye,” he added.

“Since Directed acquired a/d/s/ in 2001, we have been steadily building our home audio business,” said Directed president/CEO Jim Minarik. “The acquisition of Definitive Technology and the formation of Directed's Home Audio Division will add significantly to Directed's ability to provide our customers with the very best in high-end home audio.”

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