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Allen & Heath sold to Electra Partners equity firm

London-based private equity house Electra Partners has acquired mixing console manufacturer Allen & Heath from D&M Holdings in a deal worth £43m.

Private equity firm Electra Partners has acquired mixing console manufacturer Allen & Heath from D&M Holdings in a deal worth £43m. The equity and debt for this transaction were provided by Electra Private Equity and Allen & Heath’s management.

Founded in 1969, Cornwall-based Allen & Heath designs and manufactures audio mixing consoles for the live sound, DJ and installation markets. It became part of D&M Holdings, whose portfolio includes Denon, Marantz and Calrec, in April 2008.

Electra Partners is a London-based private equity fund manager of some 30 years’ standing with a large portfolio which includes investments in the healthcare, packaging, engineering and transport sectors. This is the fourth investment the company has announced this year.

Managing director Glenn Rogers says: “The heart of the story is the planned expansion of R&D in Cornwall, which will support and expand our growing range of digital products, as well as allow us to consider new opportunities.”

The launch of digital consoles such as iLive, GLD and Qu-16, which have been instrumental in Allen & Heath’s current success – 3,500 GLD mixers have been sold to date – first attracted Electra into making the investment, says Rogers. “Subsequent investigations as part of their due diligence revealed the strong position of the brand and the loyalty of its customers in our market areas, which helped cement the deal.”

Charles Elkington, investment partner at Electra, added: “Allen & Heath is a leader in [its] market, with an excellent track record of year-on-year growth. We believe that the company has a bright future and we will be looking to grow the business through further investment in product development, marketing and distribution, and through acquisition.”

Malcolm Miller joins the existing management team as chairman. Miller has a wealth of experience in branded businesses including his involvement with speaker company Monitor Audio as a director and as chairman of Tunstall (Healthcare) plus other senior roles at Sega, Pace and Amstrad.

At InfoComm in Florida last month, Allen & Heath launched the GLD-112 digital mixer (a larger version of the GLD-80), the fourth generation of its successful WZ MixWizard range of compact mixers, and a firmware update for the entire GLD mixing system.