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Storage Supplier Targus Acquires Roundhouse

P>NEW YORK — Targus Group International Inc., parent company of storage products maker Targus Inc. has acquired Roundhouse Inc., the Rancho Dominguez, Calif.-based supplier of CDProjects-brand storage.

Targus purchased Roundhouse in a cash-stock deal from its founders and executive management.

Roundhouse, which claims to be the fastest growing designer and distributor of CD and DVD-ROM carrying cases and storage systems, also offers a varied lineup of home CD storage systems.

The newly combined company should do $500 million in sales during its current fiscal year, said Targus Inc. president G. David Cartwright, with about one third of this dollar volume coming from OEM business. About half of the $500 million is accounted for by carrying cases, he said.

Staying on in their current roles at Roundhouse after the merger will be CEO Howard Sherman; Scott Oshry and Sean Brosmith, founding co-presidents; and Jeff Magsitza, executive VP of sales.

Roundhouse soft-sided portables are sold in formats that include Sport, Cargo, Color, Leather, Animal, Steel, Molded Case, Classic and MicroTexture.

The company also has a lineup of cases designed for laptops, CD-ROMs, DVDs and PDA and PalmPilots, and it offers a lineup of soft-sided coolers under the Glacier Gear brand — designed to keep soft drink and other beverage containers cold, with or without ice cubes.

As a Glacier Gear follow-up, the company said, it is getting ready to introduce a line of portable accessories for the infant market, called Glacier Baby. These products, said to be better than the company’s portable storage, will have a retail price range of $19.99 to $29.99.

The acquisition of Roundhouse is expected to significantly increase Targus’ top-line growth by introducing a new set of customers to the company’s existing base — including mass merchants, bookstores, music stores and fashion and housewares retailers, said Targus. Retails for Targus products incorporate price points ranging from $39 to $250.

“Roundhouse is our largest strategic acquisition since Port in 1998,” said

J. Howard Johnson, president/CEO of Targus Group International. “This alliance will be synergistic and mutually beneficial.” Port is Targus’ higher-end portable storage operation, including mobile accessories and notebook computer carrying cases sold from the company’s website, Port retails range from $79 to $149.

“Working with Roundhouse affords us the opportunity to expand into important new market segments, particularly a younger generation of portable electronics users,” said Johnson. “Conversely, we intend to take CDProjects and Glacier Gear products to the world via our global distribution.”

“We see huge growth potential for our primary product lines through the new channels that Targus brings to the table,” said Roundhouse’s Sherman.

Roundhouse will maintain its established branding, as well as an independent location in Rancho Dominguez, Calif. Studio Roundhouse, the company’s design resource, will maintain its Los Angeles location and will serve as the center of industrial and product design for Targus.

Targus and Roundhouse will collaborate on case designs and share distribution channels, with Roundhouse planning to enter new categories and distribution channels, according to Targus.

Anaheim, Calif.-based Targus, which pioneered in the development of the notebook PC carrying case, is a global supplier of portable solutions, with offices on every continent and distribution in more than 145 countries.

Targus offers soft, portable storage, including its slim-line cases, rolling cases and backpacks, as well as accessories such as computer security locks, connectivity devices, power cords, inverters, keyboards and CD-ROMs.

Roundhouse began operation in 1990 with CDProjects, followed by Glacier Gear in 1998.

This summer, Targus also acquired Wickford Backpack Co., the West Warwick, R.I.-based supplier of RAKgear backpacks. The companies plan to join sales, marketing and manufacturing efforts. Products will be marketed under the RAKgear by Targus brand, and Wickford Backpack will continue to operate from its present New England location.