SONICblue Mulls Chapter 11
SONICblue has been mired in protracted copyright infringement litigation brought by major TV networks over the capability of ReplayTV PVRs to transmit time-shifted programs over the Internet. Rio MP3 players were the electronics industry's first headphone/player combination, and survived a legal attack from the music industry. GoVideo makes dual-deck VCRs, DVD players, DVD/VCR combo players, and inexpensive home theater systems.
The bankruptcy is a move toward the sale of the three subsidiaries—with GoVideo likely to be sold to Opta Systems, a subsidiary of investment firm Carmco, for approximately $12.5 million. SONICblue's sales of its subsidiaries would have to be approved by a US bankruptcy court.
ReplayTV and Rip could possibly go to Japanese firm D&M Holdings, parent company of Denon and Marantz. On March 21, Tokyo-based D&M issued a press release setting forth its intention to acquire SONICblue's ReplayTV and Rio units for $40 million, less approximately $5 million of assumed liabilities. D&M stated that it has not reached a formal agreement with SONICblue and that there's no certainty that the deal will go through. In mid March, D&M Holdings announced plans to buy venerable American audio maker McIntosh.