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Phoenix Gold Gets Carver Rights For CE

1/26/2004 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Phoenix Gold acquired the rights to use the Carver name and Carver patents in the consumer electronics industry, expanding a consumer-brand portfolio that includes Phoenix Gold car audio and custom-home installation products and AudioSource home audio.

Phoenix Gold bought the rights to market Carver products in the pro audio market in 1995.

Phoenix Gold purchased Carver's intellectual property, trademarks, and brand from the U.S. bankruptcy court in Seattle. A final agreement was reached on Jan. 14.

Carver Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1999, at which time the company also ceased operations, Phoenix Gold said. The filing was converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation last year.

"We were hoping to unite Carver pro and consumer for several years," Phoenix Gold president Roland MacBeth said, but Phoenix Gold became available under the Chapter 7 filing only last year, he said.

MacBeth said he intends to "renew an open dialogue" with Carver Corp. founder Bob Carver to work on product design. "I have a good personal relationship with him and respect for him," MacBeth said.

Bob Carver, who owns high-end audio company Sunfire, founded Carver Corp. in 1979. In 1985, it went public. In 1995, Bob Carver left the company as a director, chairman and an employee, but he later returned.

New Carver home audio products would be more custom-installation oriented than previous generations of products but would share their mid- to high-end heritage and reputation for delivering value and high power, MacBeth said. The first products under new management will likely include a preamp processor, a receiver or two and several multichannel amplifiers, he said. Availability is targeted in the third quarter or early fourth quarter.

Some of the products will be built in Phoenix Gold's factory, here, where it makes Carver's pro products and high-end Phoenix Gold car audio, said sales and marketing VP Rusty Bennett. Lower priced products are sourced from overseas.

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