APRIL 5 | SWEETWATER, LENTINE’S MUSIC | BUYOUT
Sweetwater Picks Up Lentine’s Assets
Sweetwater Sound of Fort Wayne, Ind., has acquired the assets of Lentine’s Music. Lentine’s, a five-store chain based in Akron, Ohio, had closed its doors on Feb. 18, citing increased competition from national retail chains as a cause.
“We’re excited and honored to able to serve Lentine’s customer base,” said Chuck Surack, Sweetwater’s founder and president. “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 purchased Lentine’s assets, which included its inventory, from G.E. Capital. Sweetwater will also own and operate Lentine’s Web site and mail-order business. According to a statement issued by Sweetwater, these businesses will remain under the Lentine’s Music brand in order to focus on the education market for instruments and music technology.
Founded in 1977 by retired schoolteacher Joseph Lentine and his son Michael, Lentine’s Music grew into a $15 million-per-year business.
“The education market is expanding rapidly, especially with regard to music technology,” Surack said. “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 has been named director of the Lentine's education technology division, and Jeff Buchanan will serve as education technology sales engineer.
“I’m so happy to have these three professionals on board,” Surack said. “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.”