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Philips accessorizes with gadget supplier

Purchase of partner Gemini Industries to help Royal Philips Electronics in growing accessories market.

Royal Philips Electronics will acquire Gemini Industries to capitalize on the growing accessories market, the Dutch company announced Wednesday.

Gemini sells about 2,500 accessories for audio, video, computing, gaming, digital imaging and telephony products in the United States. Philips is an electronics giant selling products in a variety of categories from consumer electronics to light bulbs. The two companies have been partners for eight years.

The companies said an agreement has been signed, although financial details were not available. Gemini has about 500 employees, and sales for 2003 were about $200 million. The deal is expected to close in August, pending regulatory approval.

Sales of accessories have been a booming business for U.S. retailers, and Philips is hoping to expand that trend to Europe.

"Accessories are one of the fastest-growing and higher-margin product categories in consumer electronics today, and represent an increasingly important part of retailers' operations," Frans van Houten, a corporate senior vice president and head of the consumer electronics business for Philips, said in a statement.

Gemini was founded in 1964 and sells products from Philips, Magnavox, Philips Magnavox, Zenith, and Southwestern Bell Freedom Phone.