Bang & Olufsen sees another loss, Chinese deal uncertain
COPENHAGEN, April 6 (Reuters) - Upmarket Danish TV and stereo maker Bang & Olufsen said on Wednesday it expected another annual loss and that talks about a sale of the company to Chinese distribution partner Sparkle Roll may not lead to a deal.
Sparkle Roll, which sells other luxury items such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, said last month it was in talks about a potential takeover offer for B&O.
"The dialogue may or may not lead to an offer for the whole or part of the issued share capital of Bang & Olufsen. At present, uncertainty remains as to the outcome of the dialogue," B&O said in a third-quarter earnings report on Wednesday.
B&O is currently valued at around 3 billion Danish crowns ($458 million). Sparkle Roll is fully owned by Qi Jianhong, who also owns 28 percent of Hong Kong-listed Sparkle Roll Group Limited.
Stronger than expected sales of it more affordable Play product line prompted B&O to raise its 2015-16 sales forecast, but the company still expects to be loss-making for the fourth consecutive year.
B&O has struggled to recover from the 2008 financial crisis, while streaming and smartphones have been changing the way people consume music and flat-screen TVs have become much cheaper.
Its off-the-shelf TVs cost as much as $26,000 but the company can also deliver more sophisticated televisions at prices above $100,000.
The Danish company also said it would divest its amplifier unit ICEpower in a management buyout valuing the unit at an enterprise value of 32 million crowns.
The company said in March that it had entered a strategic technology partnership with LG Electronics on the development and production of its televisions. ($1 = 6.5557 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Keith Weir)
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