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D&M Holdings Buys Escient

4/24/2003 01:21:00 PM Eastern

Tokyo - A week after D&M Holdings was the high bidder for the ReplayTV and Rio business units of SONICblue, the company has bought the assets of U.S.-based OpenGlobe and Escient Convergence, subsidiaries of Escient Technologies.

Escient, a leading developer of digital home entertainment devices including the FireBall digital music managers, will be merged into the digital development group with ReplayTV and Rio

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

These companies will form the new Escient Division within Digital Networks North America, Inc. (DNNA), the new platform established by D&M to further the development of core technologies in the emerging entertainment-based home networking market.

Escient's flagship product is FireBall, an all-in-one digital audio jukebox that finds and plays both physical discs and digital music files while also displaying album cover art, album and song titles and artist information through an onscreen interface.

FireBall supports up to five managers for distribution of music around the home, receives weekly software updates through the Internet and plays music from both Internet radio stations and higher-speed satellite radio stations, D&H said.

D&M Holdings also announced the senior management leadership team for DNNA. Michael Seedman, a director of D&M Holdings, becomes chairman of DNNA and Bernie Sepaniak, current Escient president/CEO, will remain as president of the Escient Division of DNNA. D&M Holdings anticipates that most of Escient's employees, including its technical team, will join DNNA.

'Our goal is to provide access to entertainment anytime and anywhere throughout the home. This acquisition furthers that strategy,' said Tatsuo Kabumoto, president/CEO of D&M Holdings.

Today's announcement represents the company's fourth investment in technology to create entertainment-based digital home networking solutions. In addition to its pending acquisitions of ReplayTV and Rio, D&M Holdings also made an investment in 2002 in Mediabolic, a San Francisco-based company that provides an embedded software platform for entertainment devices. Denon will use the Mediabolic platform in new products that will be launched later this year.

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