Commodore computer brand sold

The company that owns the famed Commodore computer brand has been sold to Yeahronimo Media Ventures Inc., a Beverly Hills, California, digital music distributor.

Tulip Computers NV, based in Amersfoort, Netherlands, agreed to sell its subsidiary Commodore International BV for Euro 24 million (US $32.6 million), in a letter of intent announced Wednesday. The deal gives Yeahronimo, founded in July by SATXS Communications BV and Yeahronimo NV, control over the Commodore brand that has a long history of computer-related products.

Among the most popular products released by the former Commodore International Ltd. was the Commodore 64, an early personal computer introduced in 1982. Commodore International Ltd. filed for bankruptcy in 1994.

With the acquisition, Yeahronimo plans to continue offering digital media devices that Commodore International BV has sold in Europe, said Mike Freni, president of Yeahronimo Media Ventures. In July, Commodore International announced a line of digital music players under the Mpet brand and USB devices under the Fpet brand, and in November, it began selling its C64 Direct-to-TV game device in the U.S.

But Freni wouldn't rule out resurrecting the Commodore brand of PCs. "We leave that still open," he said. "We have not made a decision yet, but we have a right to do so."

The acquisition of the digital media device maker is a good fit for Yeahronimo in its role as a digital media distributor, Freni said. Yeahronimo markets software that allows copyright owners to distribute digital media content to customers. It counts several major music labels as its partners.

Yeahronimo has also focused on creating a digital media player and viewer and on distributing digital music and sports events since it was founded. Commodore "fits perfectly with our strategy," Freni said.

Freni expects the acquisition to be completed in about three weeks.

Yeahronimo had previously obtained the rights from Tulip Computers for music, games and the digital distribution for movies through the CommodoreWorld portal and the online sales of Commodore hardware.

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Grant Gross

IDG News Service

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