Jimi Hendrix amp maker Marshall sold to Swedish Bluetooth speaker company for a £325 million deal
The British family business behind Marshall amps used by everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Slash has been sold to a Swedish maker of Bluetooth speakers in a deal worth £325 million for the combined group.
Under the agreement, all Marshall brands will be acquired by Stockholm-based Zound Industries for an undisclosed sum of cash and stock. The pair will form a new company, Marshall Group.
Based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Marshall Amplification was founded in 1962 by ‘The Father of Loud’ Jim Marshall.
Turn it on: The company behind Marshall amps, used by guitar legends like Jimi Hendrix (pictured), has been sold to a Swedish maker of Bluetooth speakers in a deal worth £325 million
The products have been used by some of the world’s most famous musicians, from The Who to Jay-Z to Oasis.
The children of Jim Marshall, who have run the company since his death in 2012, will own 24 per cent of the group, making them the largest shareholders with an £80 million 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’ve always looked for ways to deliver the groundbreaking Marshall sound to music lovers of all backgrounds and tastes,” said Terry.
“I am confident that the Marshall Group will take this mission to the next level and fuel the love for the Marshall brand.”
Marshall’s turnover rose 4 per cent to £36.4m in 2021, with a pre-tax profit of £5.7m.
Alice Enders, music expert at Enders Analysis, said: ‘The heirs were stuck in a position where they had to sell it to grow it.
The marriage of an iconic British brand and a smart, smart, Swedish brand makes a lot of sense for the family.”
Marshall has been working with Zound since 2010, when it signed a licensing agreement. Zound, a rival of Sony and Bose, produces headphones and Bluetooth speakers.
In 2022, Zound’s net sales rose 44 percent to £243 million, with a profit of £24 million.
Marshall employs 200 people in Milton Keynes and 300 in Vietnam.
Zound said it had no plans to cut jobs at Marshall in the UK.