Nakamichi Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

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Tokyo -- Nakamichi Corp. Japan, which filed for bankruptcy protection in District Court here, is an R&D facility that is separate from Nakamichi's sales and marketing operations worldwide, said Dean Miller, the president of Nakamichi's sales and marketing arm in the U.S.

Nakamichi's sales and marketing operations are owned in full by Hong Kong's Grande Group, which also owns a 58% share of Nakamichi Corp. Grande also owns Nakamichi's manufacturing facilities, said Miller.

Hong Kong's Grande Group is also majority owner of Sansui, Akai and Kawa. Grande purchased majority ownership in Nakamachi Corp. in 1997.

Nakamichi Corp. blamed debt as well as weak sales and declining prices for its woes. The debt, said Miller, might have been carried over from the previous owner.

Nakamichi's U.S. sales and marketing operation, Nakamichi America of Rancho Dominguez, Calif., said it is unaffected by the move. Car audio products shown at CES will be delivered in the spring, and new home audio products will ship in the fall, said Miller.

The Grande Group 'will sponsor the rescue' and 'assist in the rehabilitation' of Nakamichi Corp., he added.

Nakamichi Corp. cited a calendar 2001 net loss of $22.5 million, a negative net worth of $33.2 million, and total debts of $150.7 million ($1=132.68 yen), according to Kyodo News.

Nakamichi was 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, Nakamichi-brand SoundSpace audio and home theater audio systems, all design-oriented products that could be hung on a wall, were introduced to the U.S.


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