Business

Phillips acquires Optiva

SNOQUALMIE — Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal


Care (DAP), a division of Royal Philips Electronics, announced Tuesday it


has signed an agreement to acquire Optiva Corp., the Snoqualmie-based


manufacturer of the Sonicare sonic toothbrush. Terms of the acquisition were not yet disclosed.


With approximately 600 employees and annual sales of $175


million, Optiva is the leader in the U.S. power toothbrush market, largely due to


its unique technology and solid professional relations program.


"This agreement


demonstrates Philips DAP's long-term commitment to personal health and oral care


and will make us No. 2 worldwide in the rapidly growing dental-appliance


market," said Ad Veenhof, chief executive of Philips DAP. "One of the


primary reasons we chose Optiva is for the wealth of expertise among its


people, and we recognize that much of Sonicare's success is due to its


ongoing commitment to the professional community.


"Philips shares that


commitment and will continue to make it the highest priority. In addition, the


acquisition will strengthen our presence in America, fitting Philips' overall


strategy for the United States."


"Sonicare can now more rapidly fulfill its potential to become the worldwide standard of personal


oral care," said Optiva's chief executive, David Giuliani. "Optiva's revolution


ary new products will also be


strengthened by Philips' electronics capabilities. The two ingredients for


Optiva's success have been its talented people and its great products. This union


will allow both to perform on a larger scale and fulfill their potential."


The Sonicare line is sold


through a broad set of distribution channels, including over 32,000 retail outlets,


as well as through dental professionals. Sonicare differs from


conventional power brushes by employing sonic technology. It cleans with a


combination of 31,000 brush strokes per minute and gentle sonic waves.


Philips DAP manufactures and markets electric shavers,


women's beauty and dental-care products, as well as domestic appliances


around the world. With the acquisition of Optiva, Philips DAP builds on its


existing position in dental-care products under the Sensiflex range,


becoming the No. 2 global manufacturer.


Optiva Corporation was founded in 1988 and funded, in part, by


grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Sonicare sonic toothbrush


was introduced in 1992. Inc. magazine recognized Optiva in October 1997 as


that year's fastest-growing, privately held company in the United States.


Royal Philips Electronics of


the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies


and Europe's largest, with sales of 31.5 billion euros in 1999. It is a


global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, color


picture tubes for televisions and monitors and one-chip TV products. It has


232,433 employees in more than 60 countries.

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