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Harman, D&M Hush On Possible Acquisition

3/24/2008 04:09:00 PM Eastern

New York — Harman International and D&M Holdings are not commenting in a substantive way about a Japanese press report that Harman is making a bid to buy the 49 percent of D&M Holdings owned by RHJ International.

Philips Electronics is also said to be interested in selling its 12 percent stake in D&M, which owns the Denon, Marantz, Boston Acoustics, Snell and McIntosh home audio brands and Escient.

Said Harman spokesman Brad Hoffman, “I have no comment on what appears to be a rumor." For its part, D&M Holdings of Japan said in a prepared statement that “recent press reports concerning the potential purchase of share [sic] by new investors is [sic] not based on any information provided by the company.”

Brussels, Belgium-based RHJ International has declined all comment on previous Japan news reports that it would sell its D&M shares. RHJ is the single largest shareholder in the publicly traded company. Late last year, however, the diversified holding company did say that it “has accelerated its systematic review to rigorously identify ways to unlock greater value for shareholders,” but it noted the result could take many forms, including “expanding existing businesses, acquisitions, mergers or disposals.”

RHJ’s portfolio consists of controlling ownership interests in six companies, non-controlling minority interests in other companies and other investments. The companies are in such industries as automotive components, prerecorded music and nutrition products.

Harman International owns the Infinity, JBL, Harman Kardon, Audio Access, Lexicon, Mark Levinson and Revel home audio brands and provides sound systems to automakers on an OEM basis, as does D&M.