Three years after striking a deal with Audiotonix, which forms a major part of a global network that supplies thousands of state-of-the-art recording studios, cloud storage and editing platforms, the company’s private equity owners are selling their remaining stake.
Led by Sir David Teggart, former head of content management at News Corporation, Ardian bought a majority stake in Audiotonix — based in the English seaside town of Brighton — in 2016. However, the process of identifying a buyer had been disrupted by a fire at the company’s HQ earlier this year.
Ardian has now agreed to buy a majority stake from U.S. private equity firm Resource Capital Funds for an undisclosed sum. Resource will retain a minority stake.
“It was a difficult choice but the landscape of our industry has changed considerably since 2014, and this time is different,” said Gabor Nemeth, chief executive of Audiotonix. “Audiotonix was built to be a catalyst for change and [my] team and I are relishing the chance to collaborate with Ardian to take it to the next level.”
The deal sees natural synergies between the new owners, who have joint interests in two other software companies, an event music management business and a sports marketing network.
Ardian, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, says Audiotonix will complement its $7bn enterprise value business-to-business software business formerly known as Knowtesq.
As well as Audiotonix’s technology and marketing platform for the audio and video film production, live events and post-production industries, Ardian has invested in music-focussed software business Sonar 7Music, events business Live Nation Events and sports content distribution business Formula 1 Content Distribution.
Audiotonix employs 200 people and generated revenue of £22m in the 12 months to end of September. Its nine-month operating profit was £2.5m.
The business had been operating without a formal corporate structure since Resource Capital Fund bought a controlling stake in the business in 2014.
The sale was announced to investors in private equity portfolio companies and UK shareholders on Thursday. It was immediately welcomed by customers and employees.