Elan comes under new ownership

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Thursday, January 23, 2003

January 23, 2003

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Eight years after being taken private by a management led buyout, Elan Home Systems is now under new ownership.

Linear Corp., which offers complementary security and home automation products under the Linear, Xantech and Multiplex name, bought the company for an undisclosed sum in an acquisition that closed Jan. 17.

Carlsbad, Calif.-based Linear Corp. is one of 28 subsidiaries owned by Nortek, a building and indoor environmental controls company based in Providence, R.I. Nortek offers products such as windows and doors, heating and air conditioning and vinyl products.

“One of our main business strategies is to acquire growing businesses that complement our existing wide range of products for the home,” said Richard Bready, chairman and chief executive officer of Nortek.

For Elan, the acquisition provides it with access to more capital to fuel continued growth. In seven years, while owned by investment firm Montgomery & Shelton and Elan President Bob Farinelli and vice president Paul Starkey, the now 75-employee company grew by 600 percent, said Rick Gratz, communications manager for Elan.

“We need to take the company to the next level,” said Gratz. “Nortek is a billion dollar multi-national company and we’re going to be investing in more engineers, product research and development.”

Plans call for Elan to expand systems integration capabilities, enabling items such as audio, video, security, lighting, air conditioning and heating to all work from one system. Farinelli and Starkey will also remain with the company.

“This market is still in its infancy,” said Gratz. “It has incredible room to grow.”