LOUD Technologies Inc is seeking a buyer for its Martin Audio business, it has been revealed. In a statement issued last week, LOUD said it had “appointed [mergers and acquisitions specialist] Lincoln International to conduct a strategic review of its UK-based division, Martin Audio, with a view to finding private equity backing to support Martin Audio into the next phase of its development plan”. After five years of ownership, Sun Capital – the VC backer behind Loud and Martin Audio – is believed to be looking to realise its investment.
Martin Audio is currently experiencing a period of unprecedented success: following the introduction of its groundbreaking MLA system in 2010, sales have grown over 40% in the past 12 months, driven particularly by the export market, and specifically in the Asia Pacific region. Jason Baird, director of engineering, is pictured introducing the MLA Compact system at the Hammersmith Apollo in March 2012.
“While it’s too early in the process to discuss specifics, what I can say is that whatever path we chose will be for the right price and in the very best interest of the brand and our customers,” said Martin Audio’s Anthony Taylor. “In the meantime, the entire Martin Audio team is focused on meeting our continued strong market demand and the ongoing rollout of MLA Compact.”
LOUD and Martin Audio were strong-armed into admitting their search for a new investor following a story in the Sunday Times on 20 May (‘Speaker firm sounds out buyers’). The article suggests the loudspeaker manufacturer could be sold for £40m, a figure disputed by Martin Audio. The company was acquired by Sun Capital in March 2007 from British private equity firm Isis.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after Martin Audio secured a £1.3 million invoice discounting facility from funding specialist Centric Commerical Finance, with Sun’s full cooperation.