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Nakamichi Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

2/28/2002 01:45:00 PM Eastern

Tokyo - High-end audio maker Nakamichi filed for bankruptcy protection in District Court here, citing a calendar 2001 net loss of $22.5 million, a negative net worth of $33.2 million, and total debts of $150.7 million, according to the Kyodo News.

The home and car audio company blamed weak sales and declining prices.

Nakamichi is a public company that is 58%-owned by Hong Kong's Grande Group, which also owns 69% of Japan's Sansui. Grande is also majority owner of Akai and Kawa. Grande purchased majority ownership in Nakamachi in 1997.

Nakamichi's U.S. sales and marketing operation, Nakamichi America of Rancho Dominguez, Calif., said it is unaffected by the move. 'There has been no interruption in business,' and staff hasn't been cut, said marketing director John Paul Lizars. 'Grande has indicated it will sponsor the recovery,' he added.

Nakamichi, founded in 1948, manufacturerd portable radios, tone arms, speakers, and communications equipment, then in 1972 launched its first Nakamichi-brand products, home audio fear that included the world's first three-head cassette deck. In 1999, it launched its first SoundSpace audio and home theater audio systems, all design-oriented products that could be hung ion a wall.