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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