Loud Technologies Inc. has divested itself of Mackie Designs (Italy) S.p.A. (formerly Radio Cine Forniture (RCF) S.p.A.) for a nominal amount. The divestiture occurred by means of the sale of all shares of Mackie Italy by Mackie Designs (Netherlands) B.V.

The divestiture, which included the sale of the former RCF factory and administrative office in Reggio Emilia, the RCF brand name, and all Italian-based assets, also results in the immediate removal of over $23 million in related bank debt from LOUD’s consolidated financial statements.

“This is the next step in the modernization and streamlining of our worldwide manufacturing and product development resources,” says Loud Technologies’ CEO Jamie Engen. “In the last year, we’ve established a network of worldwide manufacturing resources and have added significantly to our product development and engineering teams for both the Mackie and EAW brands. This sale will allow us to better leverage these resources, unencumbered, to bring the most innovative products to market in a timely manner.”

Loud will continue selling products to the Italian market through an independent distributor and is planning to address the worldwide commercial sound market with a new line of products under the EAW brand. Ken Berger, Sr. vice president of marketing and product development at Loud Technologies explains, “Over the last year, we’ve been focused on developing a coherent brand strategy for all of our products and markets. The strength of EAW in the engineered systems market makes it the natural brand under which to consolidate all of our commercial audio products.”

The first products from the new EAW commercial systems group will be unveiled in early 2004. During the transition to EAW Commercial, Loud will continue to provide its worldwide network of dealers, distributors and system designers with key commercial audio products.

Following this transaction, there are now five brands in the Loud Technologies portfolio: Mackie, the primary music industry retail brand; Tapco by Mackie, the entry-level retail brand; EAW, high-end sound reinforcement, professional touring, and commercial audio; SIA Software, sound system measurement software; and Acuma Labs, embedded software solutions for professional audio.