Martin Audio Acquired by Focusrite

December 19 2019, 05:10
Another year, another new owner for Martin Audio, which is about to break the record for the most sold, bought and bought-out audio company ever. This time, in another example of the Good 'Ol Boy Network in action, Focusrite plc., which comprises the Focusrite, ADAM Audio, Novation and Ampify Music brands, announced the acquisition of Martin Audio Ltd and associated companies.
Focusrite founder and chairman, Philip Dudderidge, Martin Audio Managing Director, Dominic Harter, and Focusrite CEO, Tim Carroll.

The acquisition of the British, Buckinghamshire-based designer and manufacturer of high-performance loudspeaker systems for the touring and installation markets, follows hot on the heels of Berlin-based studio loudspeaker manufacturer ADAM Audio, but has been a consideration for Focusrite Founder and Chairman Phil Dudderidge for years, who comments:

“I have known Martin Audio since its beginnings in Covent Garden in 1971. 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 plc (TGI) in 1990. Martin Audio is a close neighbor to Focusrite Audio Engineering in High Wycombe and their current management recognized that Focusrite plc was the obvious trade candidate to acquire the business from its private equity and management ownership structure. My conviction as to the outstanding performance of the Martin MLA system was cemented at BST Hyde Park concerts in recent years, notably Tom Petty in 2017 and Eric Clapton in 2018.”

The Focusrite Group’s criteria for acquisitions remain both strict and targeted, as Tim Carroll, Focusrite CEO explains: “The acquisition of Martin Audio is a strong demonstration of our strategic aim to expand into new markets. Martin Audio is also an established brand with solid financials that instantly add value. More importantly though, they’re culturally aligned with a clear part to play in our unfolding narrative. The Focusrite Group is, first and foremost, a professional music technology company, focused on enriching lives through music by removing barriers to creativity; from that first spark of musical inspiration, to delivering an emotionally charged performance on stage. Martin Audio completes that journey, uniting the audience by creating the ultimate live sound experience. 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.”

Martin Audio will continue to operate from their headquarter offices and factory in High Wycombe, England, under the leadership of Managing Director Dominic Harter, who looks forward to an exciting future, leading Martin Audio as part of the Focusrite Group.
A Martin Audio PA system from the seventies, complete with a Midas console.
Martin Audio at the PLASA Show 2010, when the Multicellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) familiy was introduced. The company was then part of Loud Technologies, together with Mackie and EAW.
Martin Audio MLA system in use with Lionel Richie performing at the 2019 British Summer Time concert, Hyde Park.
“Martin Audio has been uniting audiences through great sound for almost five decades. Our continued success has been down to a clear, well-executed strategy with over sixty new products launched over the last four years and double-digit growth each year. In Focusrite we have an industry neighbor of the finest pedigree; a global leader in its own right.  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. Focusrite are the perfect partner to help Martin Audio continue the innovations that have driven its success. So 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, Phil and the Focusrite team, I look forward to seeing all our staff and the wider family grow together, continuing to bring our unique optimized sonic experience to more and more audiences across the globe,” Dominic Harter states.

Martin Audio designs and manufactures performance ready systems across the spectrum of all sound reinforcement applications.  Founded by Australian audio engineer David Martin in 1971 to manufacture and supply touring sound systems for the supergroups of the day - that included Pink Floyd and Supertramp - Martin Audio was acquired in 1990 by TGI, a holding company that also owned the Tannoy and Goodman loudspeaker companies. Private equity firm Livingbridge funded an MBO from Martin Audio’s corporate parent in 2003. In 2007, Martin Audio was acquired by Loud Technologies, owner of Mackie and a number of other audio brands. In 2018, Martin Audio was purchased from Loud Technologies in a management buyout. |
related items