NHT Makes Another Move

Arizona-based Rockford Corporation announced last week that it has acquired loudspeaker designer Now Hear This (NHT) from Recoton Corporation. Previous Rockford acquisitions include Fosgate, Hafler, Acoustat, and MB Quart, and the company says that specific terms of the new agreement are confidential.

NHT, which markets home theater, stereo, custom installation, and professional audio products under the brand names NHT, Now Hear This, and NHTPro, was established in 1986 by Chris Byrne and Ken Kantor and quickly established itself as an audiophile favorite. Robert J. Reina recently favorably reveiwed the NHT SB-3 loudspeaker in the November 2002 Stereophile.

NHT was purchased in 1996 from its founders by Recoton as part of its acquisition of International Jensen. Recoton Home Audio Group's Hank Suerth told the press at that time that NHT's "mission to design and market high-performance, high-value loudspeakers for specialty audio" would continue. Byrne and Kantor later started up Vergence Technology which licensed the NHT brand name from Recoton to create speakers for the pro audio market.

Of the Rockford acquisition, Byrne says "We believe joining Rockford will be a tremendously positive stimulus to our business. There is a terrific fit of cultures, and Rockford’s resource base, logistic systems and business acumen should help us grow the brand rapidly." Rockford adds that NHT’s present management team will continue to operate product design, engineering, sales and marketing as a separate entity in its current Benicia, California facility.

Rockford's Brian Carlsness explains that the speaker company "is a significant addition to our current Fosgate Audionics and MB Quart home audio offerings. The coming year will be a very exciting time for Rockford Home Audio." Rockford's Gary Suttle, adds that the company views NHT as a "strategic acquisition, with an excellent, proven management team."