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Mar 2006 – Allen & Heath – Premium player in DJ sound mixing market backed in £9 million MBO

Close Growth Capital backs £9m MBO of Allen & Heath

Close Growth Capital, a provider of combined equity and debt funding, announces that it is backing the £9m secondary management buy out (MBO) of Allen & Heath (“A&H“), a designer of professional sound mixing equipment. The move marks the successful exit of 3i, who backed the original MBO in 2001.

Based in Penryn, near Falmouth, Cornwall, A&H develops and manufactures audio mixing consoles for use by professional sound engineers. The company has a built a solid reputation for excellence and innovation in live sound applications and developing new products for the growing DJ market under the premium brand “Xone”. New digital products under the “iLive” brand have also been enthusiastically received by the market. From building consoles for bands such as Pink Floyd and The Who in the 70s, its systems are now used by a broad range of live music venues and leading club DJs around the world. A&H also provides installed sound systems for conference centres, lecture theatres and hotels.

The MBO team is being led by A&H’s managing director, Glenn Rogers, who has successfully fronted the company since the mid 90s. The board will also include Dave Jones, finance director; Tony Williams, operations director; and Bob Goleniowski, sales director. Peter Adams continues as non-executive chairman. James Blake, who led the transaction for Close Growth Capital, will also join the board.

The deal is funded by way of a unique form of single source financing from Close Growth Capital, comprising equity and debt. The management are also providing equity. Barclays will provide working capital facilities for the business. A&H employs 180 people and has a turnover of £15 million.

James Blake, at Close Growth Capital commented:

“A&H have a well-established management team with a proven track record of technical innovation. In Xone they have a market-leading product chosen by the world’s most discerning DJs. However, it is in mid range live digital mixing consoles under the iLive brand where we anticipate the greatest potential for growth. A&H’s ability to design innovative market leading products makes them an excellent investment.”

Glenn Rogers, managing director at A&H said:

“We were immediately attracted by Close Growth Capital’s financing package, which will enable us to continue our intended growth strategy. Close Growth Capital will become an integral part of the A&H team and we look forward to working with them to build on our reputation for quality and innovation.”

Ends

EDITORS NOTES

Advisers

Financial Advisers (Management):Ernst & Young Exeter – Karen du Plessis, Stuart Crebo

Financial due diligence:Tenon Southampton – Peter Vandevelde, Mark Wolverson

Close Growth Capital Legals: Osborne Clarke Reading – Hugh Jones, Corinne Bentley-Rawson

Newco and Management Legals: Bond Pearce Bristol – Simon Hewes, Nerys Evans

Close Growth Capital Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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