5501 US Hwy 30 W
Fort Wayne, IN 46818
Toll Free (800) 222-4700
Local (260) 432-8176
Fax (260) 432-1758
Press Release
April 05 2007
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Christopher Guerin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, (800) 222-4700 ext. 1030
 
Sweetwater Acquires Assets Of Music Instrument And Equipment Retailer
 
- Leading music technology retailer increases focus on education market -

Fort Wayne, IN, April 5, 2007 - Sweetwater Sound Inc., the fifth-largest music instrument and pro audio retailer in the world, according to Music Trades magazine, and one of the fastest-growing companies in the music industry, has acquired the assets of Lentine's Music, a music instrument and equipment retail chain based in Akron, Ohio. Founded in 1977 by retired schoolteacher Joseph Lentine and his son Michael, Lentine's Music grew into a $15 million per year business, comprising five retail stores, an e-commerce website, and a mail-order branch focusing on music technology for schools. G.E. Capital took control of Lentine's last year as a consequence of stiff competition from national retail chains.

Sweetwater has purchased Lentine's assets from G.E. Capital, including the company's considerable inventory of band and music instruments, pianos, and music technology, such as sound amplification and recording equipment and software. In addition, Sweetwater will now own and operate the Lentine's website and mail order business. According to Sweetwater founder and president, Chuck Surack, "We're excited and honored to able to serve Lentine's customer base. By using Sweetwater's considerable experience and expertise, we will be able to expand the brand to serve a much broader national education market."

Sweetwater will take over the operation of Lentine's e-commerce website and the catalog/mail order business under the Lentine's Music brand in order to focus on the growing education market for instruments and music technology. "The education market is expanding rapidly, especially with regard to music technology," explains Surack. "Sweetwater's expertise with music technology is well-known, and our marketing power and distribution efficiency are unrivaled, so this combination of the strengths of the two companies operating under the same umbrella will be unquestionably the strongest in the music education market."

Three Lentine's employees have joined the Sweetwater team, including Michael Lentine, who will serve as Director of Information Technology, Vern Crews, Director of the Lentine's Education Technology Division, and Jeff Buchanan, Education Technology Sales Engineer. "I'm so happy to have these three professionals on-board," Surack adds. "Though we were competitors, Michael Lentine and I have been friends for many years, largely because we're dedicated to the same business philosophy: To serve our customers in the best way we can. With Michael, Vern, and Jeff now in place as integral parts of the Education Technology team, we're confident that our customers are going to receive the unparalleled service and retail experience that they deserve, expect, and require."

"The acquisition of Lentine's assets is an important move for us," concludes Surack. "Sweetwater has had tremendous success serving schools and universities in the past. But the addition of the Lentine's brand, which is well-known and respected in the educational community, will extend our reach and allow us to work to satisfy the music technology needs of educators at all levels with even greater energy and focus."

...ends 467 words
- End -