Allen & Heath D&M Holdings Electra Partners

Back in 2008, D&M Holdings continued its acquisition spree to add Allen & Heath alongside Denon to its audio Top Trumps set. But big business is a constantly moving target, where balance sheets and bottom lines often matter more than the products they make. And earlier this year, an external strategic review process signalled that a sale might be on the cards, which at the time pitched the potential sale at £60-70 million. Well the sale is done, and Allen & Heath are now in the  hands of Electra Partners.

The official release:

ELECTRA PARTNERS ANNOUNCES THE ACQUISITION OF ALLEN & HEATH

Electra Partners is pleased to announce the acquisition of mixing console manufacturer, Allen & Heath, from D&M Holdings. £43 million of equity and debt has been provided by Electra Private Equity PLC and Allen & Heath’s management.

Founded in 1969, Allen & Heath designs and manufactures audio mixing consoles for live sound, such as concerts, theatres and houses of worship. With an experienced management team and an extensive global distribution network, the company holds a leading market position and has consistently achieved strong revenue growth for over twenty years. Allen & Heath’s existing team and distribution networks will remain in place.

Commenting on this acquisition, Alex Fortescue, Chief Investment Partner at Electra Partners said:

“The ability to invest across the capital structure, in this case funding both the equity and debt instruments, is a great example of Electra’s flexible investment mandate being put to work to ensure a swift completion for the vendor and a straightforward structure for the business to capitalise on both organic and acquisitive growth opportunities.”

Charles Elkington, Investment Partner at Electra Partners added:

“Allen & Heath is a leader in a niche 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 work with Glenn Rogers and his team to grow the business through further investment in new product development, improved marketing and distribution, and through acquisition.”

Glenn Rogers, Managing Director at Allen & Heath, said:

“We are very excited about working with Electra Partners and the opportunities it presents for the next phase of Allen & Heath’s growth. We have an excellent catalogue of existing products and a number of exciting prospects in development. We see opportunity for expansion into new areas and look forward to building Allen & Heath’s long-term future alongside Electra Partners.”

The Electra Partners deal team for this transaction included Charles Elkington, Ian Wood and Shakira Adigun-Boaye.

This is the fourth investment Electra Partners has announced this year, following the previously announced co-investment in CALA Group and the acquisitions of AXIO Data Group and the EP I Secondary Portfolio.

Electra Partners was advised by Taylor Wessing LLP. Allen & Heath and D&M Holdings were advised by Houlihan Lokey and Ropes & Gray International LLP.

Electra Partners refers to Electra Partners LLP acting on behalf of its client Electra Private Equity PLC.

At the time of the D&M takeover, the DJ industry worried that A&H being in the same stable as Denon might see a merging of the businesses. Denon did bring out a string of DN-X mixers post-D&M takeover but stopped in 2010, giving A&H free run at the mixer market with the wondrously lovely DB2 and DB4. But other than sharing tradeshow stands and corporate email addresses, they’ve remained quite separate.

It’s anyone’s guess at to why D&M chose to offload A&H, but I feel A&H will be better for it. They have their own identity, perhaps from being fiercely Cornish  (one recent email even said “over the border into England”), or just simply from always doing things their own way. I for one am looking forward to the “exciting prospects” that MD Glenn Rogers alludes to. And let’s hope that Denon DJ can begin to flourish as the only DJ company in the D&M camp.

Best of English British Allen & Heath!