April 16, 2003 9:26 AM PDT

Japanese firm buys Sonicblue units

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A high-end Japanese home entertainment company on Wednesday announced that it had won a bankruptcy court auction for Sonicblue's ReplayTV digital video recorder and Rio MP3 business units with a $36.2 million bid.

D&M Holdings, based in Tokyo, is the parent company of Denon and Marantz, which specialize in home theater technology and audio and video electronics for consumers. The bidding process was conducted on Tuesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy court in San Jose, Calif. The transaction is expected to close in approximately 10 days.

Sonicblue put its ReplayTV and Rio MP3 players units--the bulk of its assets--on the block earlier this month after filing for bankruptcy protection in March.

Before the auction, D&M had bid $40 million for the units but the deadline expired before the deal could be completed.

D&M will acquire Sonicblue's inventory, receivables, intellectual property and capital equipment. The company will also take over certain contractual relationships and liabilities.

The Japanese company said it plans to retain all ReplayTV customers and continue to design, manufacture, and distribute a line of ReplayTV and Rio products.

With the acquisition, D&M Holdings said it plans to set up a new digital development group, merging Sonicblue's assets with the new group. The new subsidiary will be called Digital Networks North America.


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