Electra in £14m audio add-on

The Calrec deal is Electra’s third this year, after Ogier and Hotter Shoes.

Electra Partners has acquired Calrec, an audio mixing console manufacturer from D&M Holdings for £14 million (€16 million, $23 million).

The firm acquired the business using debt and equity though its London-listed trust Electra Private Equity, according to a statement.

Calrec, established in 1964, designs and produces audio mixing consoles for the television and radio broadcast sector. Its products are mainly used for sports broadcasts and other live events. Broadcasters like Al Jazeera, the BBC, CBS, Gamecreek, NEP and Sky are among Calrec’s clients.

Calrec will become a sister company to Allen & Heath, another mixing consule manufacturer which Electra bought for £43 million in June 2013. Allen & Heath’s existing chairman Malcolm Miller will work with both companies.

“Part of our investment strategy when investing in Allen & Heath was to acquire additional businesses in the audio sector in order to create a group of market leading professional audio mixing brands,” Charles Elkington, an investment partner at Electra, said in the statement.

The deal comes just days after Edward Bramson increased its stake in Electra Private Equity. Sherborne Investors, Bramson's investment vehicle, currently has an 18.39 percent stake in the company. This is the third increase since Bramson bought a 10.24 percent stake last month.

This is Electra’s third investment so far this year. In February, it agreed to invest £83 million in Ogier Fiduciary Services, the fund administration arm of offshore law firm the Ogier Group, while in January it made an £85 million investment in footwear business Hotter Shoes.

The firm also accelerated its deal activity last year: it invested £337 million in between 30 September 2012 and 30 September 2013, more than double the £150 million it invested in the same period the previous year. Last year, Electra realised £459 million, which was also up on the £301 million total in 2012. This included the exit from animal tag business Allflex, which Electra sold to BC Partners last May, netting the firm a 15x return and 28 percent IRR.

Be sure to check out Private Equity International’s April issue, where we take an in-depth look at Electra’s investment in Allflex.