Acquisition of Earpro S.A.

Midwich, a specialist audio visual and document solutions distributor to the trade market with operations in the UK and Ireland, France, Germany and Australasia, is pleased to announce it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire a majority stake in Earpro S.A. (“Earpro” or the “Company”), a value-added distributor of audio, video and lighting solutions in Spain and Portugal. The acquisition values the equity of Earpro at approximately €11.0m, including a net cash balance of approximately €3.2m.  Managing Director, Miguel Mezquita retains a stake in the business and will continue to lead the business as part of the Midwich Group.

Earpro is a specialist audio and visual distributor focused on three technology categories – audio, lighting and video.  The Company has a notable heritage in the solution driven professional audio market where the business operates with mid to high end, specialist brands.  The Company distributes key audio vendors including Shure and a range of brands under the Harman umbrella.  The acquisition underlines the Midwich Group’s continued investment in specialism.

The Earpro business, headquartered in Barcelona enables the entry of the Midwich Group into the Spanish and Portuguese markets, territories the Group has identified as important in its international expansion.  The acquisition is further delivery of the Group’s strategy, stated at IPO to grow operations through a combination of organic development and selective acquisitions.

Stephen Fenby, Managing Director, Midwich Group commented:

“I am delighted to welcome Miguel, and the rest of the Earpro team to the Midwich Group.  Spain and Portugal are markets we’ve identified as significant to the Group’s international growth ambitions.  The addition of this territory to the Group’s portfolio increases Midwich’s geographical coverage, with the Group operating in territories which account for approximately 60% of the European audio visual market.  We will look to continue strengthening the Company’s position in the professional audio market, and support the business to build its lighting and video technology divisions.”

Earpro’s heritage in the audio market has enabled the business to develop its sales in complementary video and lighting technologies.  As a market leader in professional audio distribution, the business has a strong platform to develop video and lighting sales through its existing customer base.

Miguel Mezquita, Managing Director, Earpro commented:

“From the outset of our conversations with the Midwich Group, the cultural and operational synergies of our two businesses were evident.  This new partnership will enable us to continue our business’s development in the professional audio, video and lighting technology markets with the support and backing of an experienced international audio visual specialist.”

Specialist services provided by the Company include: system design, pre-installation product configuration, pre and post sale technical support, product demonstrations, and product repairs.  Through its portfolio of leading vendors, Earpro will continue to provide the complete audio solution to the professional market.  This includes sales of product technologies in microphones, mixers, amplifiers, sound systems, public address systems, ear monitoring systems and digital system processors (DSP), along with their lighting and video technology ranges.

Tom Sumner, Midwich European Director, commented:

“The Midwich Group has experience of international acquisition in Europe and Australasia where our approach has been to address these markets through strong local teams.  We will continue this with Earpro, providing support where we can.  We are excited to work with the Earpro team, and will look to maximise the business synergies across the Group’s organisations.  Our primary focus will remain on continuing to enhance the support and service we provide customers and vendor partners.”

Enquiries:

Midwich Group plc

Stephen Fenby, Managing Director

Anthony Bailey, Finance Director

 

Tel: +44 (0) 1379 649 200

Investec Bank plc

James Ireland / James Rudd

Carlton Nelson / Robert Baker

 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7597 4000

FTI Consulting

Oliver Winters / Alex Beagley / George Robinson

 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3727 1000

 

Notes to Editors:

Midwich is a specialist AV and document solutions distributor to the trade market, with operations in the UK and Ireland, France, Germany and Australasia. The Group's long-standing relationships with over 300 vendors, including blue-chip organisations such as Samsung, LG, Epson and NEC, supports a comprehensive product portfolio across major audio visual categories such as large format displays, projectors, digital signage and printers. The Group operates as the sole or largest in-country distributor for a number of its vendors in their respective product sets. The Directors attribute this position to the Group's technical expertise, extensive product knowledge and strong customer service offering built up over a number of years. The Group has a large and diverse base of approximately 10,000 customers, most of which are professional AV integrators and IT resellers serving sectors such as corporate, education, retail, residential and hospitality. Although the Group does not sell directly to end users, it believes that the majority of its products are used by commercial and educational establishments rather than consumers.

Initially a UK only distributor, the Group now has over 500 employees across the UK, Germany, France, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and in the year to 31 December 2016, 33 per cent of the Group's revenues were derived from outside the UK and Ireland. A core component of the Group's growth strategy is further expansion of its international operations and footprint into strategically targeted jurisdictions.

For further information, please visit www.midwichgroupplc.com