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D&M Holdings Buys Two Escient Cos.

5/05/2003 02:00:00 AM Eastern

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

The Escient 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.

Details of the post-merger integration of the Escient and SONICblue units are still being made, a spokesperson said, but Escient engineers will "become part of DNNA to support the core development of all the networking brands, including Replay TV and Rio," she said. For its previous acquisitions, D&M has consolidated back-office functions while allowing each brand to retain its own sales and marketing staffs.

Terms of the Escient acquisitions were not disclosed. SONICblue was purchased for $36.2 million, plus select contractual relationships and liabilities. D&M also recently purchased McIntosh from Clarion.

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

OpenGlobe is the developer and OEM marketer of digital media management platforms and back-end services targeted for use with those platforms. OpenGlobe has supplied Compaq, Kenwood, and RCA with its technologies on an OEM basis for use in hard-drive-equipped component-style devices. As for the future of the OEM business, a spokeswoman said, "we will continue it if it makes sense."

D&M Holdings said DNNA's top executives are:. Michael Seedman, a D&M Holdings' director, is chairman of DNNA and Bernie Sepaniak, current Escient president/CEO, will remain as president of the Escient of DNNA.

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