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St. Louis-based Yurbuds sold to Connecticut audio firm Harman

St. Louis-based Yurbuds sold to Connecticut audio firm Harman

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Yurbuds, a St. Louis-based maker of sports headphones founded by a triathlete and marathon runner, has been acquired by Harman International Industries. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

After Yurbuds was founded in 2008 by triathlete Seth Burgett and marathoner Richard Daniels, the company grew its distribution to hundreds of retail stores, including Best Buy and running stores across the country. Burgett, Yurbuds’ CEO and president, developed the idea for Yurbuds when the earphones he was wearing during training were painful and kept falling out.

Yurbuds’ intellectual property portfolio includes more than 60 patents and 70 trademarks for design and technology. In 2013, privately held Yurbuds was named St. Louis’ top technology startup by the Information Technology Entrepreneur Network and named the ninth “Most Promising Company in America” by Forbes magazine in 2009.

Burgett and Yurbuds’ 40 employees will join Harman as part of its lifestyle division and remain in St. Louis, said Harman spokesman Darrin Shewchuk.

“We don’t have any plans at this time to change staffing or their location,” he said. “We think this is a fantastic brand, and the company has enormous talent and technologies.”

Harman, a manufacturer of audio, video and lighting products, had $5.1 billion in sales for the twelve months that ended March 31.

“The talented — and athletic — management team at Yurbuds has helped drive the acceleration of the fast-growing niche of sports headphones and wearables, with best in class design and a rich pipeline of future innovations to enhance the athlete experience,” Harman’s chairman, CEO and president Dinesh Paliwal said in a statement.

“We see exciting opportunities to leverage the technologies, brands and distribution systems from our organizations to develop the next generation of headphones designed specifically for athletes.”

Lisa Brown is a business reporter at the Post-Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @LisaBrownSTL and the Business section @postdispatchbiz.

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