DTS Acquires Neural Audio

DTS Inc. has acquired Neural Audio in a move designed to give DTS a stronger foothold in the broadcast and automotive markets. In addition, DTS announced plans to expand its world-class engineering and technology capabilities with the hiring of key executives and opening of a research and development facility in Silicon Valley.

The acquisition of Neural Audio, located in Kirkland, WA, will expand DTS’s branded technology offerings focused on the broadcast, satellite-radio, automotive, and gaming markets. The acquisition brings aboard key executive and technical talent from Neural Audio: CEO Geir Skaaden, President/COO Mark Seigle, Director of Engineering Jeff Thompson, and Chief Scientist James “JJ” Johnston. Johnston is a pioneer in the field of perceptual audio coding, having made significant contributions to the development of the AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and MP3 formats, which revolutionized the encoding and delivery of digital audio.

“We believe that the acquisition of Neural Audio strengthens DTS’s position in the important broadcast and automotive markets while also providing immediate access to the evolving satellite and HD-radio industries,” says DTS President/CEO Jon Kirchner. “In addition and very important, we are acquiring an extremely talented team of professionals who we expect will enhance our technology expertise and market knowledge and help drive our efforts to sell value-added, branded enhancement technologies into the emerging Internet, PC, and mobile markets for years to come.”

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, DTS paid $7.5 million in cash for certain assets and liabilities of Neural Audio Corp. and may pay up to $7.5 million of additional cash consideration over the next five years if certain conditions are met. The transaction closed on Dec. 31 and is expected to be accretive in 2009.

Separately, DTS announced that Dr. Jean-Marc Jot is joining the company to head the R&D effort in Silicon Valley. A distinguished scientist renowned for his work in audio-signal processing, he formerly led the development of next-generation audio-playback-enhancement technologies and intellectual properties for Creative Labs Advanced Technology Centre. In addition, DTS announced the addition of Principal Audio Engineer Dr. Martin Walsh and Senior Audio Engineer Edward Stein, also formerly of the Creative Labs Advanced Technology Centre.

“With the hiring of these key executives, DTS furthers its commitment to advancing our strategy of developing compelling audio-enhancement technologies for the online, PC, and mobile-device markets,” says Rick Beaton, SVP of R&D and engineering for DTS.

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