Jimi Hendrix amplifier maker Marshall sold to Swedish Bluetooth speaker firm in £325m deal
The British family-owned business behind Marshall amplifiers, used by everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Slash, has been sold to a Swedish maker of Bluetooth speakers in a deal valuing the combined group at £325million.
Under the agreement, all Marshall brands will be acquired by Stockholm-based Zound Industries for an undisclosed amount, made up of cash and shares. The pair will form a new company, Marshall Group.
Marshall Amplification, based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, was founded by ‘The Father of Loud’ Jim Marshall in 1962.
Turn it up: The business behind Marshall amplifiers, used by guitar legends like Jimi Hendrix (pictured), has been sold to a Swedish maker of Bluetooth speakers in a deal worth £325m
Its products have been used by some of the world’s most famous musicians, from The Who to Jay-Z to Oasis.
Jim Marshall’s children, who have been running the firm since he died in 2012, will own 24 per cent of the group, making them the largest shareholders with an £80million stake.
The family will play a key role, with Marshall’s son and daughter, Terry and Victoria, joining the board.
‘Since my father and I created the original Marshall amp in 1962, we have always sought ways to deliver the pioneering Marshall sound to music lovers of all backgrounds and musical tastes,’ Terry said.
‘I’m confident that Marshall Group will elevate this mission and spur the love for the Marshall brand.’
Marshall’s turnover increased 4pc to £36.4million in 2021, with pre-tax profits hitting £5.7million.
Alice Enders, music expert at Enders Analysis, said: ‘The inheritors were stuck in a position where they had to sell it in order to grow it.
The marriage of an iconic British brand and a smart, savvy, Swedish one makes a lot of sense to the family.’
Marshall has been working with Zound since 2010, when it agreed a licensing deal. Zound, a rival to Sony and Bose, produces headphones and Bluetooth speakers.
In 2022, Zound net sales rose 44 per cent to £243million, with profits of £24million.
Marshall employs 200 people in Milton Keynes and 300 in Vietnam.
Zound said it had no plans for job cuts at Marshall in the UK.
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