Tweeter to Acquire United Audio Centers in Chicago

Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire United Audio Centers, located in the Chicago, Illinois area. United Audio describes itself as a seven-store specialty consumer electronics retailer with annual sales of approximately $48 million, and says it has been in business in the Chicago market for over 40 years. The companies expect to complete the transaction on or about April 1, 2000, and note that the agreement in principle to acquire United Audio is subject to various terms and conditions, as well as to regulatory approval.

To foster the deal, Tweeter expects to exchange Tweeter common stock with an approximate current value of $6.5 million for 100% of the common stock of United Audio. Tweeter's sales in 1999 were $283.3 million, and it operates 76 stores under the Tweeter, etc., Bryn Mawr Stereo & Video, HiFi Buys, Home Entertainment, and DOW Stereo/Video names in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern, Texas, and San Diego markets. Tweeter has also recently expanded onto the Web (see previous story), with Cyberian Outpost.

Tweeter's CEO, Jeffrey Stone, states that "Tweeter expects to grow United Audio's presence in the greater Chicago area over the next several years and use the Chicago marketplace as a springboard into other surrounding cities. We also expect to open up to 11 more new stores between now and the end of fiscal 2000, and relocate three more existing stores. This is in addition to the three new stores and one relocation that have already been completed this year. With the addition of the seven United Audio stores, we expect to add a total of 21 stores in fiscal 2000, up from the previously announced 16 stores."

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