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Marantz, Denon To Merge

3/07/2002 09:17:00 AM Eastern

AMSTERDAM/TOKYO - Marantz and Denon will merge operations, maintaining both brands and creating a new holding company called D&M Holdings.

The announcement was made jointly earlier today by Marantz Japan and its largest shareholder Royal Philips Electronics (49 percent) and Denon Ltd. and its largest shareholder Ripplewood Holdings L.L.C. (98 percent) and is expected to close by May.

D&M Holdings will employ about 1,650 worldwide and will set up its headquarters in Sagamihara City, Japan.

Under the terms of the agreement, existing Marantz shareholders will receive one share of D&M Holdings for each Marantz share. Existing Denon shareholders will receive 0.4416 shares of D&M Holdings for each Denon share. Ownership of Marantz shareholders will be 30 percent while Denon shareholders will have a 70 percent stake in D&M.

Philips and Ripplewood will have stakes of 14.7 percent and 68.6 percent in D&M, respectively. D&M will be listed on the Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Marantz Japan acquired trademark rights and sales subsidiaries operating in Europe and the United States last May, according to Tatsuo Kabumoto, Marantz's chairman and CEO, who will become president and CEO of D&M Holdings.

The two brands will be maintained "as well as their sales and marketing . brand specific product and unique distribution channel[s]," the companies said in a joint statement. Research and development, product, purchasing and financial control activities will be combined as soon as possible to "reinforce their competitive edge and deliver the identified synergies."

Those synergies are, according to Denon CEO and representative director Mitsushige Sakamoto, "integrating Denon's digital A/V technology with Marantz' video and wireless technology. D&M Holdings will secure its position in the home theater market."

Sakamoto will become president & CEO of Denon when the merger is completed, while Takashi Sato, current president and chief operating officer of Marantz, will become president and CEO of Marantz.

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