Tivoli Partners Learn of a Buyout – 1 Year Later

Tivoli logoWhen we last left Tivoli, the company created many years ago by Tom DeVesto who is now the CEO of Como Audio, it was 2015 and they had just been sold by one private equity company, with the help of another private equity company, to a third private equity company. Now word comes that the third private equity company, Serruya Private Equity of Toronto, which Strata-gee wrote about in June 2015, has sold Tivoli in a buyout to the company’s management in conjunction with a financial backer.

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It’s Official – Monster Money is Dead

Monster Money logoBack in June, Strata-gee reported that Monster Products, Inc. (the former Monster Cable) had filed an S-1 registration document with the Securities and Exchange Commission, laying out its plans to launch a new cryptocurrency known as Monster Money. In addition to this, the company would offer shares in the company as well. The filing got a lot of attention at the time, in part because if successful, it would be the largest cryptocurrency launch ever to that point.

Now, I’ve learned that this initiative has been officially rescinded by the company.

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Emerald Expositions CEO Resigns, Q3 Results Released

For Owner of CEDIA Expo, There’s Trouble in Emerald City

Emerald Expositions logoEmerald Expositions’ stock nose-dived 19% in early afternoon trading last Thursday as the company released its third quarter fiscal results and announced that David Loechner has resigned as the company’s President and CEO. Current CFO Philip Evans takes over as Interim President and CEO.

What’s going on at Emerald Expositions?… Continue reading

Troubling Sign: New Home Sales Drop in Sept

New Residential Sales in SeptRecently, I warned of some troubling housing related news. You may recall that a collapse in the housing sector was a key driver of the last recession in 2007-2009 that was so painful for the custom integration community, and for the country as a whole. In my report – Are You Prepared for the Coming Recession? – I noted a pronounced and troubling turn in several housing industry specific data, perhaps presaging another economic downturn. Now new government data shows that, once again, new residential sales have declined in the month of September.

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Gibson to Emerge from Bankruptcy & Stop Singing the Blues

With Old Debt Gone, A New Leader & Team Arrives

Logo for Gibson BrandsGibson Brands is on the verge of emerging from bankruptcy a much healthier business in many respects – with less debt, more money in the bank, and a new leader to help the company shed its consumer electronics debacle and reconnect with the musical instrument market. The fifth time, it appears, was a charm as the court has approved the fifth revision of a company submitted turnaround plan that, cuts debt, jettisons former CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, and puts bondholders KKR in the driver’s seat.

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Thiel Audio Files Bankruptcy in Bitter Coda to a Sad Song

Although owned by an agribusiness tycoon who is rumored to be extremely wealthy, Thiel Audio Products Company last Tuesday declared bankruptcy. The company filed papers with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court saying it had assets of around $900,000 and liabilities of over $1,800,000. The filing was a bitter end to a sad series of developments over the last six years, with new owner David B. Griffin changing management teams at least five times in one five-year period. The result was a constant, if slow, slide down the slippery slope of ruin.

See what is learned from Thiel Audio’s bankruptcy filing… Continue reading

Apple Weaponizes Privacy Policy for Edge on Rivals

Photo of Apple store and logoApple, sensing an opportunity to gain an edge on its tech industry rivals, is weaponizing its privacy policies by demonstrating unusual transparency with users. The move is brilliant, and one that is not likely to be followed by many of its more opaque tech industry rivals like Google and Amazon.

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Legrand and Lumileds Partner to Drive Adoption of Tunable White LED Lighting

Legrand logoLegrand and Lumileds announced today that they have signed a partnership agreement that is designed to combine forces and help drive industry adoption of tunable white LED lighting. The two will create and sell what they say is a “simple to integrate” and “easy-to-install plug and play solution” that delivers high quality tunable white LED light. This partnership is another example of the growing interest in this more human-friendly lighting solution.

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New Study Says Voice-Controlled Assistants Aren’t Used Daily

eMarketer logoAs more research continues to emerge on consumer utilization of voice-controlled devices, it becomes clear that there are still impediments to end-users utilizing their voice-control capabilities regularly, according to research by Social Lens. A separate study by Nielsen reaffirms what Strata-gee has previously reported, that people use smart speakers more for listening to music, than for any other task…including voice-control of their home automation solutions.

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House of Horrors: Sept. Housing Starts Drop 5.3%

Photo of a home being builtI’ve been sounding the alarm about a housing slowdown for a couple of months now, starting with this overall look at how a housing industry-led recession could be just around the corner. Now, new data on housing, the industry that was a major driver of the last recession, continues to offer a bearish outlook with housing construction starts dropping a significant 5.3% in the month of September.

See more on the latest data from the Commerce Department on housing starts… Continue reading