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Harvey Buys MyerEmco

Lyndhurst, N.J. — Metro New York retail chain Harvey Electronics has agreed to acquire the Washington-based MyerEmco AudioVideo chain.

The deal will join the two high-end regional specialty dealers and custom installation businesses and extend Harvey’s nine-store Northeast footprint to a 19-store chain stretching into the Mid-Atlantic states.

Terms were not disclosed and the closing of the transaction is subject to financing and other customary contingencies.

Andy Stackpole, Harvey’s chairman and managing partner of private equity firm Trinity Investment Partners, which took over Harvey late last year, said, “MyerEmco AudioVideo has a long history of profitability, growth, and customer satisfaction. The combination of our two businesses will create the premier high-end custom installer and retailer in the Northeast Corridor. With the addition of MyerEmco AudioVideo, Harvey will be uniquely positioned to exploit the tremendous opportunities for growth and profitability in the most important markets for high-end consumer electronics and services. It would be difficult to conceive of two more complementary businesses.”

Gary Yacoubian, president and COO of MyerEmco, will assume the same role at the combined company, Stackpole said. “In his 19 years at MyerEmco, Gary has done an incredible job of building it into the country’s best high-end consumer electronics retailer and custom installer.”

Yacoubian commented, “Combining the two leading retailers/custom installers in the country’s most attractive markets for high-end consumer electronics is a powerful competitive strategy. I do not believe there is another company in our industry that has the combination of brands, market positioning or people that we will have. Harvey and MyerEmco operate in such similar ways — it is almost like we have always been one company.”

In late January, Harvey’s interim CEO Martin McLanan unveiled a multi-pronged strategic plan to return the embattled chain to profitability.

Harvey, a publicly traded company, ranked No. 90 in TWICE’s 2006 Top 100 CE Retail Registry with approximately $41 million in sales. The privately held MyerEmco ranked 93rd, rang up around $38 million in annual sales. Both retailers are members of the Progressive Retailers Organization buying group (PRO Group.)

George Manlove, president of PRO Group and CEO of Vann’s, applauded the deal. “There are synergies in evidence between both retailers and both markets. And there is a lot of financial support for the deal. We are glad that both [retailers] will continue to be part of the PRO Group.”

Dave Workman, executive director of the PRO Group added, “The group and the industry has a tremendous amount of respect for Gary [Yacoubian’s] skills. What Trinity is saying is that they are in [specialty retailing] for the long term, and that’s a positive thing. [Harvey and MyerEmco] will remain PRO members. It says a lot that investors still think highly of specialty retailers that they would make this type of investment and believe it its ability to grow.”

Harvey’s nine stores are located in Manhattan, New Jersey, Connecticut and on Long Island. MyerEmco has 10 stores in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. No plans were revealed regarding whether the two chains’ stores will operate under one brand name or maintain their separate identities.