By Matthew Henry

MELBOURNE: Teac Australia will be sold to a Singapore-based consumer electronics company, TT International Limited (TTIL), and will no longer operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Teac Corporation of Japan, the company announced today.

In a press release issued by Teac Australia this afternoon, the company revealed Teac Corporation of Japan has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with TT International to offload the Australian subsidiary.

TT International specialises in sourcing, trading and distribution of branded consumer electronics products, and supply chain management, operating in 60 countries around the world with an annual turnover of 689.4 million Singapore dollars.

The company will license the Teac brand from Teac Corporation of Japan, and will continue to draw on the Teac’s engineering resources and product sourcing.

A spokesperson for Teac Australia said it will continue to operate under the Teac brand name in Australia and will maintain close ties to Teac Japan.

Teac Australia anticipates a seamless transition to the new ownership arrangement.

“TTIL will provide new expertise, resources and know-how to our company that will enable us to accelerate establishing Teac as a premium brand proposition in advanced digital technologies,” said Teac Australia CEO, Toku Shinge, who was appointed to the role just over two months ago with the charge to remake Teac as a technology leader in the Australian market.

The proposed sale represents the second major change of ownership for the consumer electronics company in a turbulent 18 months following its plunge into financial ruin in early 2005, when administrators were called in to save the company which had around $55 million in debt.

In September last year, Teac Corporation of Japan took 100 per cent control of the Australian subsidiary with a plan to reestablish the brand in the Australian market.

Teac’s Japanese headquarters has vowed to have a continued role in the Australian business, with newly-appointed Teac Japan president, Mr Hanabusa, suggesting the sale represents a good move for the Australian subsidiary.

“I am confident that Teac Australia will gain significant potential to further build its reputation as a key player and quality brand under the arrangement with TTIL,” said Hanabusa in a statement.

TT International chairman and CEO, Sng Sze Hiang, said Teac Australia is a good strategic fit for his company.

“While the Australia business complements TT International’s core businesses and provides it entry into the Australian market, the new ownership and continued involvement of Teac Corporation give the Teac brand exciting future prospects in Australia,” said Hiang.

Teac could not confirm the price or a date for the transition of ownership to TTIL.