Philips and Marantz Japan Re-Shuffle Brand Ownership

Last week, Philips Electronics and Marantz Japan jointly announced that Marantz Japan intends to buy the Marantz trademark, as well as the European and American sales organizations, from Philips. The companies say that the transaction is due to take effect in the coming months. In addition, Philips says it intends to sell shares equal to 1.5% of all shares held in Marantz Japan, effectively reducing its ownership percentage from 50.5% to 49%.

In addition to Marantz America, Philips currently owns the European sales organizations for Marantz, located in the Netherlands, UK, Germany, France, and Italy and are all currently owned by Philips. Marantz Japan says that it will finance the transaction fully with debt, taking advantage of currently low Japanese interest rates.

In a prepared statement, both Philips and Marantz Japan said they believe it is "important to have single ownership of the global Marantz business in order to improve its value chain." According to Philips, "taking a minority shareholding is a clear message to the market that Marantz Japan from this moment onwards is solely in charge of its strategic direction. This will open up new opportunities with the brand and its business, one of which will be investing in the brandname itself."

Both companies emphasize that the existing working relations will be maintained, with Marantz Japan's Kazuya Suetake adding, "Cooperation with Philips in areas such as Super Audio CD will remain as important as they are today. We have had many successes together and we both want to continue to do so. We see more opportunities for relationships with different Philips product divisions than ever before." Besides the Marantz-branded consumer electronics business, Marantz Japan says it has ambitious growth plans for its wireless data and satellite activities.