Phone Headset Supplier GN Netcom Finalizes Merger With Jabra Corp.

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NASHUA, N.H. -- Wireless and corded telephone headset manufacturer GN Netcom has finalized a deal to purchase Jabra Corp., a supplier of hands-free headset/earset products for mobile and cordless phones. The purchase price is about $40 million, plus earn-out payments totaling a maximum of $35 million.

GN Netcom, based here, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Copenhagen, Denmark-based GN Netcom AS, which specializes in the design and manufacture of telephone headsets, voice input devices, remote voice pickup and related products. GN Netcom will market products for mobile communications under the Jabra brand name.

Jabra, based in San Diego, offers hands-free communications products for telecommunications, interactive computing and computer telephony applications. It is best known for its EarSet, a headset-like device that combines a microphone and speaker in a single unit that fits in the outer ear. Its products are sold in major retailers and over the Internet, among others.

Jabra will continue to offer its current breadth of products and introduce new products this fall. As GN Netcom's consumer division, it will provide the company with the brand equity and sales channels needed to enhance the distribution of GN Netcom products to consumers. These channels include cellular carriers, distributors, dealers, OEM customers and major consumer electronics retailers such as RadioShack and Circuit City.

Jabra will operate as a strategic business unit within the GN Netcom Group un-der its present management team and will continue to be headquartered in San Diego. It will be headed by president/CEO Vicki L. Marion, who will report to P. Michael Fairweather, president/CEO of GN Netcom Inc. and executive VP of the GN Netcom Group.

"The mobile telecom will continue to be the fastest growing segment of the hands-free business in the foreseeable future," said Fairweather. With the acquisition of Jabar, GN Netcom secures a substantially broader product platform and access to new and important North American sales channels.

Jabra has "great potential outside North America," he said, which GN Netcom "will be able to realize through its worldwide distribution network."


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