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Focusrite to acquire neighbouring Martin Audio

Focusrite to acquire neighbouring Martin Audio
Focusrite founder and chairman Philip Dudderidge, Martin Audio MD Dominic Harter and Focusrite CEO Tim Carroll

Focusrite to acquire neighbouring Martin Audio

Focusrite Group has announced plans to acquire Martin Audio, adding the British loudspeaker manufacturer to its growing portfolio, which includes the Novation and Ampify Music brands, as well as ADAM Audio, which was bought in July 2019. Martin Audio has reportedly been on the radar of Focusrite founder and chairman Phil Dudderidge for several years.

‘I have known Martin Audio since its beginnings in Covent Garden in 1971,’ Dudderidge revealed. ‘Founder Dave Martin and I became close friends in 1989 when I served as an advisor to him and non-executive chairman for a year or so as we prepared the company for sale to Tannoy Goodman International. Martin Audio is a close neighbour to Focusrite Audio Engineering in High Wycombe and their current management recognised that Focusrite plc was the obvious trade candidate to acquire the business from its private equity and management ownership structure.’

Martin Audio underwent a management buyout in the summer of 2018 when LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, backed the management team as it purchased the manufacturer from its parent company at the time, Loud Audio. LDC invested £12 million for a stake in Martin Audio to grow its business alongside investment from the team led by managing director Dom Harter.

The deal is reported to be worth £39.2m. Approximately £4m will be paid in cash, funded via existing cash resources and a new loan facility of £40m through HSBC and Natwest. Completion of the acquisition and the loan facility relies upon shareholder approval on 30 December 2019.

As Focusrite takes over, Martin Audio will continue to operate from its offices and factory in High Wycombe under the leadership of Harter.

‘In Focusrite we have an industry neighbour of the finest pedigree; a global leader in its own right,’ Harter commented. ‘Their culture mirrors our own and, getting to know the team, I sense a strong similarity with the deep-rooted values of our own Martin Audio Family. It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we take this next step; a momentous occasion as the Martin Audio brand enters its 50th year. Working with Tim [Carroll], Phil and the Focusrite team, I look forward to seeing all our staff and the wider family grow together.’

Carroll, Focusrite Group’s CEO, explained that his company is taking a targeted approach to acquisitions. ‘The acquisition of Martin Audio is a strong demonstration of our strategic aim to expand into new markets,’ he explained. ‘Martin Audio is also an established brand with solid financials that instantly add value. The Martin Audio family share our hunger to innovate and our passion as music and sound enthusiasts. That we’re just a stone’s throw away will only further help unite us in achieving our common goal.’

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