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Tweeter Downplays Wattles’ New 10% Stake

Canton, Mass. — Tweeter Home Entertainment Group is downplaying speculation that Ultimate Electronics’ CEO Mark Wattles may be making a play for the national A/V specialty chain.

Since June, Wattles’ investment company, Wattles Capital Management, has raised its stake in Tweeter, from 741,281 shares, to 2.4 million shares, or 9.7 percent of the company, according to a filing with Security and Exchange Commission on Monday.

According to a Tweeter spokeswoman, Wattles assured Tweeter’s newly named CEO Joe McGuire that the move “was only an investment opportunity, and we have no reason to believe otherwise.”

The spokeswoman told TWICE that Wattles’ investment in Tweeter represents “only 2.4 million out of 25 million outstanding shares.” She noted that many shareholders hold large positions in the company, including Prentice Capital, a hedge fund, with 12 percent; Weston Presidio, Tweeter’s original venture fund, with about 11 percent; and State Street Advisors, a Boston investment advisory firm, which owns 8 percent.

In addition, founder/chairman Sandy Bloomberg holds about 7 percent of Tweeter’s shares, while the company’s board and executive management team collectively owns about 17 percent of the company, she said.

Wattles, the founder and former CEO of Hollywood Video, gained control of Ultimate Electronics after the Colorado retail chain went bankrupt in January.