Case study

Martin Audio: Crowd-pleasing success

Our partnership gave us the perfect platform to invest in key growth areas.

Carve out helps the management team of high-performance loudspeaker brand deliver resounding success.

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Sector
  • Retail & consumer
  • Technology, Media, Telecoms

Martin Audio provides the audio equipment for a wide variety of venues and major music festivals worldwide.

Deal type
  • Carve out
Deal value

£12m

Exit type
  • Trade sale
Exit value

£39.2m

The Team
LDC Region

Headquartered in Buckinghamshire, Martin Audio designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance loudspeaker systems for commercial installations, tours and events across the globe. Its customers include London’s British Summertime Festival at Hyde Park, Rock in Rio and iconic London super-club Ministry of Sound.

The business was founded in the 1970s by legendary Australian sound engineer Dave Martin and has produced touring systems for international supergroups such as Pink Floyd, The Who and Supertramp.

Carving out to amplify growth

LDC backed the business in 2018 in a management buyout from US-based global audio specialist Loud Audio, investing £12m in the company alongside its existing management team led by Managing Director Dom Harter.

Since the start of the partnership Martin Audio has grown quickly as a standalone business, adding new clients such as US-based Soundworks, Southard Audio and Twilight Audio as well as new partners including Jamaican brand Main Event Entertainment and Dominican Republic-headquartered Group AR.

Martin Audio has also diversified its offering through the launch of 15 new products since LDC’s investment, opening up new sales channels for the business and enabling it to expand into the commercial installation space.

LDC has been a really supportive partner. They have encouraged us to focus on our priorities and have trusted us to get on with things. Our partnership has given us the perfect platform to invest in key growth areas of the business, broaden our customer base and fundamentally improve the way we operate.”
Dom Harter, Managing Director
Martin Audio

The next track

In December 2019, LDC agreed to sell its stake in Martin Audio to Focusrite plc, the global music and audio products company, in a £39.2m sale.

The transaction follows a period of significant growth for Martin Audio with the business recording a turnover of £24.4m for the 12 months to October 2019 (unaudited accounts), up 12 per cent on the previous year, with an EBITDA of £3.4m, increasing by 31 per cent year-on-year.

Following the sale to Focusrite plc, Martin Audio will continue to operate autonomously as a subsidiary of Focusrite, maintaining its existing leadership team as it looks to continue to drive international growth opportunities and extend its client portfolio.

The transaction provides a money multiple return of 2.6x for LDC.

LDC has backed our plan from the beginning and has played a key role in helping us set the wheels in motion, offering us the flexibility we needed and directly supporting our recruitment efforts.”
Dom Harter, Managing Director
Martin Audio