News Installation

Yamaha acquires Kemble shareholding and expands AV portfolio in UK

test 17 July 2007

UK: A strategic move by Yamaha’s European Holding Company (YMHE) to obtain complete ownership of its European subsidiaries has resulted in the acquisition of the Kemble family’s minority shareholding in Yamaha’s UK music and pro-audio operation. While there is set to be an alteration in trading name from Yamaha-Kemble Music (UK) to simply Yamaha Music (UK) this autumn, there will be “zero change” to the management structure of the company, reports David Davies.

The Kemble family’s shareholding in the UK business has diminished considerably over the last 40 years, to the extent that it has maintained a stake of only 12.5% since 1984. As such, ongoing joint managing director and board director Andrew Kemble does not believe that the latest development is particularly significant.

“It’s a tidy up rather than a fundamental change,” he tells PSN-e. “It makes life simpler and enables everybody to do things more quickly and flexibly.” Kemble adds that the structure of the UK operation will be subject to “zero change”.

As Kemble points out, the change in the status of the UK business is only one demonstration of Yamaha’s policy to take 100% ownership of its European subsidiaries. This has also recently resulted in the acquisition of a 25% local stake in Spanish operation Yamaha-Hazen Musica, set to be known as Yamaha Musica Iberica from September.

Back in the UK, the management team will continue to revolve around Andrew and Roy Kemble (serving as administration director and company secretary), although the former will also become one of two vice-presidents of YMHE from August 1st. Andrew Kemble’s responsibilities on a European level will include offering general support to the European president, Matt Oike; developing marketing across the continent; and, in a role he has occupied for some time, serving as the manufacturer’s European Competition Law compliance officer. Brian Kemble will remain joint managing director of Kemble & Co, which is unaffected by the changes.

“The UK has been one of Yamaha’s most successful markets and we recognise the enormous contribution made by the Kemble family,” commented Oike. “I am sure that the Kembles will continue to play an important part in Yamaha’s European operations in the future, as they have in the past.”

In other recent news, Yamaha-Kemble Music (UK) has announced that it is now offering a comprehensive range of Yamaha Electronics audio products to the contractor and systems installation market through its Commercial Audio dealer network. Products to be made available include Yamaha AV receivers, digital sound projectors, CD and DVD players, with or without rack-mounting kits.

The development emerges during a period of sustained growth for Yamaha in the installation market, as evidenced by recent sales to sites including live music venue The Stables in Milton Keynes, and London’s Riverbank Park Plaza hotel and conference centre.

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