Danish Company Buys Hello Direct

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GN Netcom, a wholly owned subsidiary of GN Great Nordic Ltd., is set to acquire Hello Direct, San Jose, CA, for $95 million. The acquirer is a Danish company with a strong US market presence.

Hello Direct, a direct and Net marketer of business-to-business desktop telephony solutions, including headsets, audio and video conference equipment and wireless sets, is GN Netcom's second US acquisition in two months.

In August the Danish company acquired Jabra Corp., San Diego, a supplier of advanced hands-free headset/earset products for cellular, desktop and computer applications in the US.

Hello Direct was founded in 1987 and distributes product three ways -- through a catalog, outbound telemarketing and an award-winning Web site.

The acquisition, a corporate statement said, will allow GN Netcom to "play a pivotal role in the continued growth of Hello Direct by providing capital and strong global distribution channels.

"Hello Direct will also benefit from GN Netcom's existing international marketing and sales infrastructure and gain access to other GN Netcom resources," including accelerated international expansion.

The Danish company is a major provider of hands-free solutions to call centers, general offices, and mobile and PC applications in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. It is active in 60 countries around the world.

GN Great Nordic is a Danish conglomerate that owns a group of high-tech companies and is listed on the Copenhagen stock exchange. Dean Kacos, chief financial officer at GN Netcom in the US, called the acquisition "a great strategic fit."

Officials were reluctant to discuss the acquisition until all Securities and Exchange Commission requirements had been met.

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