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Carlsbro finds new owner

Gary Cooper
Carlsbro finds new owner


Nine months after the controversial collapse of Carlsbro, the brand has finally found a new owner in Chinese manufacturer Soundking. 

Soundking, which also owns veteran UK console maker CADAC and the PA company Studiomaster, had long been rumoured to be the favourite to acquire Carlsbro, but no official explanation has been offered for the time the purchase has taken. However, industry speculation had suggested difficulties surrounding the ownership of some intellectual property rights.

Established in 1959 by Stuart Mercer, and with an annual turnover of £3 million, Derbyshire-based Carlsbro went into administration in February 2009, blaming 'ongoing cash flow problems'. Carlsbro had already outsourced its manufacturing operations to China in 2002, which meant the purchase concerned the Carlsbro brand and the company's design rights and intellectual property to its current and backlog products.  

Joint administrators at PKF Accountants & business advisers, Charles Escott and Ian Schofield were appointed Joint Administrators on 13 February 2009.

Corporate Recovery Partner, Charles Escott said: "There has been much speculation over the sale of this company and we had a number of parties interested in purchasing Carlsbro. After a lengthy process, Soundking's successful bid has secured the continuation of the brand.  We wish them every success in driving the brand and its products forward."

Prior to its collapse, Carlsbro's owner, Andrew Bishop, had appointed Yorkshire-based Lightstructures distributor for the brand and it had been widely assumed that the company would purchase Carlsbro, following its demise. No announcement has been made by Soundking concerning Lightstructures and whether it will have any future role with the new venture, which is to be called Carlsbro Holdings Ltd.

Founded in 1988, China-based Soundking is represented in the UK by Studioking Limited.

Studioking: 01525 217111.

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Tags: carlsbro , andrew bishop , soundking , lightstructures , stuart mercer

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