The Curious Case of the Disappearance of Classé

BREAKING NEWS Acquired by Sound United Two Years Ago, Then Gone


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It was January 2018 when I reported that Sound United had completed its acquisition of Classé, an acquisition which had been first announced in December of 2017. In the weeks leading up to that December, former owner Bowers & Wilkins was considering getting out of the electronics business…maybe. After months of confusion, where on any day executives at Classé teetered back-and-forth between survival and demise – it now seemed that Sound United had thrown them a lifeline…a chance to live to fight another day.

And then they dropped out of sight for the last two years…

What happened to Classé?…

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LG Smokes Q3 Forecast for Record Financial Results

LG OLED lighting

LG Electronics Inc. is on a roll, as evidenced by their fiscal third quarter results. The company says it has set an all-time record for third quarter revenues while at the same time booking their best quarterly profit in a decade.

See more details on LG’s Q3 results…

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Sharp & Foxconn Stiff Korean Factory Equipment Suppliers on Money Owed

Image of Sharp logo

Korean media is reporting that Sharp, the former Japanese powerhouse brand now owned by Taiwan’s Foxconn, is late on approximately tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars worth of payments to Korean factory gear makers. Not only are they late, but they are said to be demanding even more discounts on the outstanding debt owed to multiple South Korean suppliers of factory equipment destined for use in LCD production factories. All of this is being done in violation of covenants in their purchase contracts with these suppliers.

This dispute may raise to level of government intervention.

What is Sharp & Foxconn doing? And why?…

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Housing Starts in Sharp Slide in September

Photo of construction workers

As the economy continues to show more signs of a slowdown, we can’t help but notice increasing volatility in the month-to-month readings of various statistics. The latest government data on housing construction starts is a great example of this. After a big jump in August, starts dropped in September by 9.4% – a larger than normal amount – from the revised rate in August.

See the surprising slump in housing starts…

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Giving No Ground, Lenbrook Launches Robust Retaliation to Sonos Lawsuit

Lenbrook Group logo

After receiving a stipulation allowing them more time to respond, Lenbrook Industries Ltd, and Lenbrook America, last week filed their response to the Sonos patent litigation they were hit with in June. It was a robust and smart response that clearly communicated that Lenbrook planned to give no ground in this dispute.

While perhaps not quite as audacious as the D&M response when they were first dealt the blow of litigation…Lenbrook offered a smart and savvy response that not only pushed back but seemingly undercuts many of Sonos’ core allegations..and patents.

Sonos v Lenbrook is heating up…who has the advantage?…

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Nortek Figures Prominently, If Not Always Positively, in Melrose Industries’ 1st Half Fiscal Results

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Melrose Industries PLC, a U.K. based investment group that purchased Nortek, Inc. back in 2016, released their fiscal 2019 first half financial results last month (for the period ending June 30, 2019). And while the results showed strong sales growth (thanks to a large acquisition) the company still booked a net loss.

Perhaps more interesting, was that Nortek’s Security & Smart Technology unit figured quite prominently in the document – often for the wrong reasons.

See why Nortek was so prominent…

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Retail Sales Declined for First Time in Seven Months as Economy Cools

Photo of Apple store in Chicago

In a new report by the U.S. Commerce Department released Wednesday, U.S. retail sales in September have broadly dropped for the first time in seven months. The report is seen by many economists as another significant sign of a cooling economy.

See more on the decline in retail sales…

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Google Remains #1 in Search Ad Revenues, But is Feeling Some Heat from Below

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New research data released by eMarketer on the search engine advertising market shows that Google, the perennial leader in search advertising revenues, remains in first place. However, the data reveals a strongly rising competitor coming in second. Who that competitor is just may surprise you.

See who is rising as a threat to Google…

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With Loss of Two Potential Buyers, Onkyo’s Future is a Question Mark

onkyologo

As you most likely know by now, Onkyo Corp. and Sound United have called off their transaction which would have transferred ownership of the 73-year old Onkyo brand, as well as the Integra, Pioneer, and Pioneer Elite brands to Sound United. The shocking news capped off a nearly five month process where many in the industry tried to figure out just how this deal made sense.

This was the second loss of a potential buyer for Onkyo, which admits it is re-evaluating its future based on the failure to sell off its brands.

See why Onkyo’s future is a question mark…

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