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GN Merges Jabra, Netcom Businesses

5/15/2006 10:59:00 AM Eastern

Nashua, N.H. — GN, parent company of GN Mobile and GN Netcom, is combining the two headset businesses.

The as yet unnamed unit will combine the assets of GN Mobile, which markets Jabra-brand mobile headsets, with that of GN Netcom’s office headset business. The company anticipates combined revenues for 2006 of about $750 million

“Some years ago, we set out our vision for the future — one in which everyone will be using wireless headsets whether they’re in the office, at home or on the move,” said Hans Henrik Lund, president of the new headset business. “Today’s announcement is part of the changes we are implementing in order to make our vision a reality.”

The two brands are distributed through a total of 90,000 sales channels worldwide, including carriers, system integrators, consumer electronics chains and mobile phone specialists.

Former Bose exec David Wood will spearhead North American operations as senior VP and general manager of the unit.

“I am thrilled to be a part of GN during this extremely exciting time in the company’s evolution,” said Wood. “We will work together with our global team over the coming months to unite operations and reinforce our industry leadership while continuing the company's proven track record of design innovation and product excellence.”

According to a statement, GN claimed the No. 1 market position in headsets in 2005 with a combined global market share of 35 percent. The company manufactured 25 million headsets, amplifiers and other accessories, representing a 50 percent increase over 2004 manufacturing totals. The products were sold under Jabra and GN Netcom brands, as well as to global mobile phone manufacturers under OEM contracts.

To date, GN Netcom and GN Mobile have operated separate sales, marketing and development efforts while sharing the same production and supply-chain functions. GN Netcom had focused on professional users in offices and contact centers while GN Mobile has concentrated on the mobile consumer market.

“Combining our two divisions will help us become an even more effective organization. We will take advantage of our strong market presence, brands and track record in innovation,” said Lund. “It will also help us meet the needs of our distributors and retailers that are increasingly demanding single-point access to our headsets and other products.”

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