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D&M Holdings up for sale

Steven Kim

While the roster of storied high end names is pretty long, don't think for a minute that the blue-blood part of the market has not experienced consolidation. D&M Holdings is a prime example of this: D&M's owner, RJH International, has managed to fit Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, Boston Acoustics, Snell and Escient under one umbrella over the years. And now RJH is looking to cash in on the concentrated dollop of high end, offering up 49-percent of its shares in D&M. Philips has agreed to offer its12-percent stake to a winning bidder as well. Our math tells us that's more than a controlling percentage. Harman International, apparently satisfied with its own high end roster (including Harman Kardon, Infinity, Revel and Mark Levinson), has bowed out of bidding. That leaves Bain Capital (Kenwood) and Best Buy as the most prominent bidders, both of which scare us a little. One of the things we really enjoy about the D&M brands is the individual "personalities" behind them, and that's a credit to the management overlords. There's no guarantee that this variety of flavor will survive an en masse transition to new ownership.

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