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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, September 10, 2012, 6:45 am

Panamax owner consolidates brands in Petaluma

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    PETALUMA — Global electronics maker Nortek, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTK), which owns Petaluma-based Panamax (707-283-5900, panamax.com) and Furman Sound (707-763-1010, furman.com), is reorganizing product-development and marketing for 10 audio, power-management and control brands in a new Core Brands group at 1690 Corporate Cir. in the southern Sonoma County city.

    The formerly independent brands in Providence, R.I.-based Nortek’s Technology Solutions market segment are Aton, BlueBOLT, Elan, Furman, Niles, Panamax, Proficient, SpeakerCraft, Sunfire and Xantech. The brands are marketed to more than 4,300 residential, commercial and professional direct customer accounts in multiple distribution channels in the U.S. and worldwide.

    At the helm of the Core Brands group will be Bill Pollock, president of Panamax, according to the late August announcement. Overseeing global sales will be Dave Keller, vice president of sales and marketing for Panamax and Furman. In charge of channel management will be Keith Marshall, president of SpeakerCraft and Proficient, and all brand marketing, Paul Starkey, president of Elan.

    “Operating as Core Brands will enable us to leverage economies of scale while strengthening our ability to invest in launching innovative technologies and a range of new marketing programs designed to increase the value, clarity and acceptance of each brand,” said Sean Burke, group president. “In addition, combining these market leading brands will allow us to deliver more localized and responsive factory training and product support expertise. These initiatives should position the brands not only to improve their business performance, but also to increase their penetration of un-served and underserved market segments during a period of generally improving business conditions in their respective distribution channels.”

    Technology Solutions is one of the company’s five industry segments. Sales of audio/video distribution and control products, which include Panamax and Furman Sound, accounted for about 29 percent and 43 percent of total segment net sales in 2011 and 2010, respectively, according to the company’s annual report, released in March.

    Nortek has been restructuring operations since it emerged from Bankruptcy Court reorganization in December 2009, after $1.3 billion in debt was discharged, according to corporate filings. Company said its sales have been significantly affected by the slowdown in residential and commercial construction.

    Core Brands also will have offices in Carlsbad and Riverside as well as in Marblehead, Mass.

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