Focusrite plc acquires Linea Research Holdings for £12.6 million

Focusrite plc acquires Linea Research Holdings for £12.6 million

LONDON, UK: Focusrite plc (AIM: TUNE), the global music and audio products company supplying hardware and software used by professional and amateur musicians and the entertainment industry, announced the acquisition of Linea Research Holdings Ltd, a UK based designer and manufacturer of professional audio equipment.

The total consideration to be paid is £12.6 million for Linea Research Holdings, which has approximately £1 million of cash. The initial consideration is approximately £12.1 million of cash paid on completion and the remaining £0.5m to be paid in cash subject to certain performance conditions relating to the period ending May 2023.

The initial consideration will be funded through a combination of existing cash resources and a drawdown of existing facilities with HSBC and NatWest. Following the acquisition of Linea, the enlarged Group will have net cash of approximately £7 million.

Linea, headquartered in Letchworth Garden City, UK was formed in 2003 by a team of experienced professional audio specialists, and they design, develop, manufacture and market innovative professional audio equipment globally.

Their products include a range of ground-breaking amplifiers, including the world-renowned M Series, together with Digital Signal Processors, audio networking and software products.

Two of the original founders, Davey Smalley, Commercial Director, and Ben Ver, Engineering Director, will continue to lead the business post-acquisition.

In the year ended 28 February 2022, Linea’s unaudited revenue was £5.2 million. EBITDA and EBIT, also unaudited, were £1.2 million. The Board expects the acquisition to be earnings enhancing in the current financial year, excluding non-underlying transaction costs, and thereafter.

Focusrite’s subsidiary Martin Audio is a significant customer of Linea – Linea technology is behind the successful iKON amplifier series that powers Wavefront Precision line arrays seen on live tours and at prestigious festivals such as British Summer Time in Hyde Park.

The acquisition strengthens the critical source of supply of amplifier modules for Martin Audio and will enable greater integration of loudspeaker and amplifier technology in Martin Audio products.

However it is also the intention to continue to develop the sales of Linea products through third-party distribution and to OEM loudspeaker customers.

By extending the Group’s business into new products and markets, which complement its existing offerings, the acquisition is strategically aligned with the Group’s previously communicated aims of growing the core customer base, expanding into new markets, and increasing lifetime value for customers.

Tim Carroll, Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to welcome Davey, Ben and the entire Linea team to the Focusrite Group. We know the team and the business well given that Martin Audio is a major Linea customer. This will lead to many synergies and is expected to improve gross margin for both Martin Audio and the wider Group. Linea’s products are globally recognised as best in class and we are all excited about the opportunities and possibilities that lie ahead with the collective expertise of the Linea and Focusrite Group R&D and sales teams.”

In a joint statement Davey Smalley and Ben Ver, Directors at Linea commented: “We are delighted to be able to continue the Linea success story from within the Focusrite Group. Having seen the support and growth of the brands within the Group, we believe this provides us with a secure foundation to further our R&D efforts and product portfolio, strengthening the Linea brand while continuing partnerships with our long-standing OEM partners. This can only be a good thing for our customers, end users and very much our staff.”

Focusrite plc is a global audio products group that develops and markets proprietary hardware and software products. Used by audio professionals and musicians, its solutions facilitate the high-quality production of recorded and live sound. The Focusrite Group trades under nine established brands: Focusrite, Focusrite Pro, Novation, Ampify, ADAM Audio, Martin Audio, Optimal Audio, Sequential and Linea.

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