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Brentlinger Changes Plans, Will Retain Orban

Company gets a financial boost from its co-founder

Orban has received an investment boost from the man whose name it bears; now its owners have changed their mind about divesting from the company.

Parent CRLI, which builds Orban Optimod audio processors, issued a statement late Thursday: “After announcing in May that the Brentlinger family would seek to divest its majority ownership interests in the assets of CRLI … the Brentlinger family has now chosen instead to retain its investment and grow the Orban brand with new generations of audio processors for the radio industry and more aggressive product development and marketing for the fast-growing television and Internet markets.”

President/CEO Jay Brentlinger expanded on this in the announcement, “On one hand, there was an industry-wide sales slowdown in 2009 and thus far in 2010, but we also know recovery is at hand and that in addition to radio, there are great opportunities in the domestic and international television industries and in a still-growing Internet.” His family acquired majority interest in CRLI 10 years ago and then bought Orban from Harman International Industries.

CRLI said it reached agreement with Bob Orban “that enables him to use his financial resources to ensure that Optimods will be delivered to customers off-the-shelf or with minimal lead times.” It did not specify the scope of the investment or whether CRLI had pursued conversations with potential buyers. Bob Orban remains the company’s VP and chief engineer.

“New technology and delivery methods are creating huge demands for the most advanced audio processing,” it quoted Orban as saying. “We will meet those demands and I intend to play a big role in that along with our VP of Product development, Greg Ogonowski, and our staff of expert engineers and developers.”