U.S. No Longer Global Biz Leader, There’s a New #1 – China

China leads the world as suggested by this photo of Chinese petrochemical workers

Fortune just published its latest Global 500 ranking of the top companies in the world – and the results this year are earth-shaking. For the first time ever, since this list was launched in 1990, another country has more companies on the list of top companies than the U.S. And the bad news for the White House is that new #1 is China, the country with which it is currently in the midst of a high stakes trade war.

See how China has surpassed the U.S. in global top companies…

Continue reading

Did Control4 Just Try to End-Run Multiple Shareholder Lawsuits?

Photo of Martin Plaehn, CEO of Control4

As Strata-gee recently reported, there are currently seven active lawsuits that have been filed against Control4 and their Board of Directors in the wake of their acquisition by SnapAV. In a new DEFA14A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last Friday, the company addresses the issue of these lawsuits – saying that they are going to fight them. But then they do something very curious – they file an amendment to their original Schedule 14A filing, their Proxy Statement, with added information that appears to add missing material in response to allegations in the lawsuits filed against them.

Is Control4 trying to end-run the litigation just days before shareholders vote? See more below…

Continue reading

Control4 Hit With Another Class Action Lawsuit by Shareholders

Control4 logo

The Control4 Corporation has been hit with another class action lawsuit filed on behalf of all shareholders of their stock in connection with their acquisition by Wirepath Home Systems, LLC – better known as SnapAV. Filed by the law firm of Rigrodsky & Long, P.A., the lawsuit alleges certain violations of Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and names both Control4 and its Board of Directors as defendants.

See more on this litigation against Control4…

Continue reading

SnapAV Continues to Grow Their Physical Footprint, Buys Custom Plus

SnapAV logo

SnapAV announced this afternoon that they have acquired Custom Plus Distributing, a regional distributor that started in the Pacific Northwest and expanded into California. This is the fourth acquisition by the company who seeks to grow their physical distribution footprint to better serve their customers in local markets.

See more on this new acquisition by SnapAV…

Continue reading

SnapAV Slammed with Credit Downgrade by Moody’s

SnapAV logo

Credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the credit rating of Wirepath LLC (corporate name of SnapAV) from B2 to B3 in the wake of their announced acquisition of Control4. The primary reason for the downgrade is due to the fact that SnapAV will be forced to increase their debt by an additional $390 million to a new high of $683 million in order to close on this acquisition.

See more on SnapAV’s credit downgrade…

Continue reading

James Loudspeaker Says Size Definitely Does Matter, So Go Micro

James Loudspeaker, an innovative manufacturer of architectural speaker products for the residential and commercial custom integration industry, announced this week that they have redesigned their speaker grilles to a new Microperf-style for their small aperture product line. The new Microperf design is sure to be popular with architects, designers, integrators and end-users as it helps to more perfectly visually blend the speakers into the surrounding environment.

See more on James Loudspeaker’s new Microperf speaker grilles…

Continue reading

Finding His Voiz

Photo of Voiz AiRadio Duo VR-80 in light finish

In consumer electronics, we tend to find products separated into certain ranges or categories, largely based on the intended target market. There are high-end/high-performance products targeted for audio aficionados (aka audiophiles) that tend to be better performing, but at a higher price. And then there are inexpensive items targeted to the mainstream consumer who likes the looks or features – such as a nostalgia look – but isn’t willing to pay much extra for performance…because that’s not necessarily their “thing.”

But like “East” and “West,” these two things almost never meet together in one product. Never, that is, until product design expert Hiro Ogura launched his Voiz lossless streaming smart speaker.

See why Voiz is unique…

Continue reading

Ex-Nortek Exec Speaks With Strata-gee, See What’s On His Mind

Photo of Joe Roberts from 2017 CEDIA Show
Joe Roberts, EVP of Products and Marketing, at 2017 CEDIA Show

The last ninety days or so have been somewhat turbulent at Nortek Security and Control (NSC), with two top executives departing under foggy circumstances. First, in May we learned that President Mike O’Neal had left the company. Then, last week, news emerged that Joe Roberts, Executive VP of Products and Marketing had also departed.

I reached out to Joe Roberts to try to find out what was up with all of these changes at NSC.

See what Roberts had to say about Nortek…

Continue reading

TiVo Partners with LG in Global IP Licensing Deal

TiVo logo

TiVo Corporation announced this week that it has entered into a global IP (intellectual property) licensing agreement with leading home electronics supplier LG Electronics, Inc. (LG). This deal is consistent with the company’s persistent efforts to deliver a more comprehensive, unique, and easy-to-use feature pack and user experience on their premium TVs.

See more on this TiVo & LG partnership…

Continue reading

Jumping June Jobs Report Suggests Softer Decline

logo for Bureau of Labor Statistics

With most economists on pins and needles over the recent number of economic data points that seem to suggest an impending economic slowdown, word came at the end of the last week that the latest jobs report from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics saw employment take a big jump. According to this latest data, employers added a significant 224,000 jobs in June, a big increase from May’s anemic results.

See more on this latest jump in jobs in June…

Continue reading