Play Dark Side of the Moon on a set of Boston Acoustics' speakers and you'll see the light. The company designs and makes moderately priced and high-end loudspeaker systems for the home and automotive markets. It also makes home entertainment systems, amplifiers, and ancillary speaker equipment, including selectors and volume controls. Boston Acoustics mostly tunes out mass retailers, selling its products through a select group of specialty dealers. Its products are manufactured by third parties in the Asia/Pacific region, Europe, and North America. Former chairman Andrew Kotsatos and ex-CEO Frank Reed founded the company in 1979. D&M Holdings acquired Boston Acoustics in 2005.
To leverage its car audio division, Boston Acoustics has signed agreements to provide stereos and speakers to American automakers. In recent years the company's sound systems have been available as upgrades to Chevrolet Camaros, Dodge Challengers, Chrysler 300s, and Jeep Patriots. General Motors and Chrysler plan to continue adding the audio equipment maker's units to more of their vehicles.
Boston Acoustics also sells speakers outside the US and is concentrating on expanding its customer base in Asia, Europe, and Central and South America.
Paring down its expenses, the company in early 2010 sold a roughly 160,000-sq.-ft. office and warehouse facility in Peabody, Massachusetts, where its headquarters is located, to private equity firm Brookwood Financial Partners. The deal was valued at $8 million. The building also houses Christian Book Distributors. As part of the deal, Boston Acoustics and the distributor agreed to lease back space in the facility. (Sister speaker brand Snell Acoustics had also occupied space in the building, but parent D&M Holdings decided to discontinue the underperforming brand and halted its production later in 2010.) The sale-leaseback transaction is just one of several restructuring measures undertaken by D&M as it works to keep costs under control amid tough economic conditions worldwide.