High Wycombe audio company buys Californian business & reports stellar revenue rise


It’s a good day for Focusrite plc, the global music and audio products company, which has reported group revenue up by a phenomenal 90 per cent and on the same day, the acquisition of Sequential LLC, a California based, world-renowned, high-end synthesizer company for which it is paying £18 million. The existing management and team will stay with the business post acquisition.

The acquisition will be funded through existing cash resources and an £8 million drawdown on an existing facility of £40 million with HSBC and NatWest. Following the acquisition of Sequential, the Group will have net cash of approximately £12 million.

Sequential is headquartered in San Francisco, California in the historically and culturally rich North Beach neighbourhood from where it will continue to operate and be led by legendary instrument designer and Grammy winner Dave Smith, who founded Sequential Circuits in 1974.

The Sequential portfolio of high end analogue synthesizers dramatically expands the footprint the Group has with its Novation branded instruments , offering more premium priced solutions for electronic  artists. The Group also sees the possibility of future synergies between the Sequential and Novation’s R&D teams to bring new innovative products to market that will further the Group’s mission of “removing barriers to creativity”.

In the year to 31 December 2020, Sequentialunaudited turnover was $18.3 million.

This is the third major acquisition made by Focusrite since its flotation in December 2014, the first being the acquisition of ADAM Audio GmbH for a £16.2 million in July 2019, followed by Martin Audio Ltd in December 2019 for £39.2 million.

Focusrite’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Carroll, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to welcome Dave and the entire Sequential team to the Focusrite Group. Sequential adds to our rich heritage of innovation and passionate people who are dedicated to making world class solutions for musicians. For us, Sequential is a perfect fit, and a logical choice to add to our Group. While Sequential will continue to operate as a separate business unit with a very robust roadmapwe are all excited about the opportunities and possibilities that lie ahead with the collective expertise of the Sequential and Novation R&D teams.”

Phil Dudderidge, Chairman, added:“We are excited and pleased to add Sequential’s instruments and pedigree to Focusrite Group’s portfolio of world-class audio and music production tools. Dave Smith’s history as an innovator speaks for itself. From his creation of the world’s first fully programmable polysynth, the Prophet 5, to his co-invention of MIDI, Dave has literally changed the world of music several times. We are looking forward to continuing his history of innovation and expanding the global market for Sequential’s instruments.”

Dave Smith, Founder of Sequential, said: With Focusrite, we have found an ideal home and a perfect cultural and technological fit. Phil and his team have a long history of quality, vision, and focus on what musicians and audio professionals really want. We’re excited to join such an industry powerhouse and contribute to our mutual success. I expect great things.”