Martin Audio Sold in Management Buyout

Loud Audio has sold the Martin Audio loudspeaker brand in a management buyout.
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Woodinville, WA (July 2, 2018)—Loud Audio has sold its high-end pro loudspeaker brand, Martin Audio, in a management buyout backed by UK-based private equity investor LDC.

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Characterized as having “invested £12m for a significant stake in the company,” LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, will “provide a step change for the business, injecting capital into key growth areas and bringing on board additional expertise to help guide its strategy,” said Troy Harris-Speid, investment director at LDC in London.

Loud first purchased Martin Audio in March, 2007, which, at the time, made it one of four different loudspeaker brands under the Loud umbrella, the others being EAW, Mackie and Tapco, the last of which was essentially shuttered in 2011.

The sale of Martin Audio is intended to enable the loudspeaker manufacturer to further develop its product range, sales and marketing capabilities, build up its global distribution network and bolster software development.

To that end, Dom Harter, managing director of Martin Audio, said, “Our focus is now on developing our product line even further, and ensuring we have a rock-solid infrastructure in place to extend our global reach and drive market share.” Currently, the company has a turnover of around £20m and employs more than 60 people.

Mark Graham, CEO of Loud, noted, "Bringing some of the technical and operational expertise of the Loud enterprise to Martin Audio and drawing on Martin's fanatical passion around sound quality created a nice marriage of capabilities. While we are sad to see them go, we believe this change will benefit both businesses by allowing for simplicity and focus. We wish the brand and all the Martin employees the very best of luck."

For Loud, the deal is part of an overall push to narrow its focus; the company cited a similar intention when it sold Ampeg, the MI-oriented bass amplifier and pedal brand, to Yamaha in May.

James Oh, partner at Transom Capital Group—which includes Loud Audio in its portfolio—explained, "Reducing the complexity of the Loud business and re-focusing on high quality audio delivery from consumers to professionals has always been the focus of our thesis. We are very happy to have found a great owner for the Martin business and wish everyone involved much success in their pursuits."

As part of the deal, Harris-Speid and fellow LDC investment director Philip Weston will join Martin Audio’s board, alongside James Browning who will join as non-executive director.

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