D&M Holdings Addressing All CE Segments
D&M Holdings, parent of D&M Holdings US, has built a portfolio of brands through a unique mix of private equity and public shareholder funding.
Ripplewood Holdings LLC, the New York-based private equity investment firm founded by Timothy Collins, created D&M Holdings in May 2002 by acquiring and merging the operations of Denon and Marantz. In March, Ripplewood transferred its 51-percent ownership of D&M Holdings to RHJ International, a Belgium-based holding company it created.
D&M acquired the McIntosh Laboratory, ReplayTV and Escient brands in 2003. That's not all D&M's acquired in recent years. Its executive ranks include Merle Gilmore (formerly of Motorola) as chairman and industrial partner to Ripplewood, Vic Pacor (formerly of Sony and JVC) as president and COO, and Bob Weissburg (formerly of Sony) as president, D&M Sales and Marketing, North America. D&M's recruitment of executives from top Japanese companies has been equally aggressive.
In June, D&M announced it would acquire Boston Acoustics for $76 million; at press time, the deal was slated to close by August 31. In July, D&M said it was selling its Rio intellectual property to SigmaTel, but would retain ownership of Rio products, inventory and trademarks.
"Our goal overall is to expand our portfolio of specialty brands that address different segments of the market," says Weissburg. "Unlike one brand name trying to be everything to every category and every price point, we can focus and segment certain brands into specific channels and support those channels with the appropriate product and technology that allows us to grow in each segment of the CE market."
D&M's current brand distribution ranges from the very narrow (McIntosh), to the custom installation channel (Marantz expanded into AVAD in January), to broader distribution (Denon, via regional specialty chains). Escient is distributed "across all channels because it's really a product that complements any A/V installation, whether it's super high-end or medium-priced," says Weissburg.