latest news


Yorkshire business named ‘fastest growing musical instrument retailer in the world

£35m turnover York-based online musical instruments business Gear4Music has been heralded as the ‘fastest growing music retailer in the world’ by The Music Trades, a leading US-based industry trade publication.

Operating from its office, showroom and distribution centre in York, Gear4Music offers a wide range of music gear from orchestral instruments to rock ‘n’ roll, including guitars, drum kits, digital pianos, saxophones and cellos, plus leading recording and studio equipment.

Established in 2003, the company has seen huge growth in recent years following a £3.4m investment by Leeds-based private equity firm Key Capital Partners (KCP) in 2012, which enabled it to expand its international e-commerce platform. At the time, the company had sales of only £10m, but it quickly went on to complete a successful IPO in June 2015, valuing the company at £28m and raising £10.3m of cash. It has recently reported record results with like-for-like sales increasing by 46% to £35.4m.

Peter Armitage, director of Gear4Music and partner of backer KCP, comments: “With another 190,000 new customers added in the last year alone, Gear4Music is an amazing success story and it’s not surprising that it has been recognised as the fastest growing music retailer in the world. The business is doing phenomenally well and we are proud to have been a catalyst for its rapid growth.”

The latest accolade from The Music Trades, a leading music industry magazine in North America which dates back to 1890, follows the publication’s research into musical instrument retailers around the world. Read by retailers, distributors, and manufacturers of musical instruments and professional audio equipment worldwide, the magazine is one of the music industry’s most respected sources for all types of market data including ranking the world’s leading music and audio firms by volume.

Andrew Wass, founder and chief executive of Gear4Music, said: “It is fantastic for a Yorkshire business to be recognized as a global leader in its field and securing the backing of private equity funder KCP has certainly played a key part in our success. Not only did the investment enable us to expand our online offering throughout Europe, it also put us in a strong position to launch a successful IPO. Having the input of such experienced investors was a massive support, providing sound advice and guiding us through the float process.”

Armitage explained that KCP is currently looking for other high growth potential businesses to back. “Having launched a new £80m fund last December, we are now seeking other dynamic, mid-sized businesses with the potential for growth which would benefit from our backing and expertise. Gear4Music is a remarkable business, and we are looking to back other future stars at a time in their development when accessing capital on the right terms may not be straightforward. ”

Posted in All , Portfolio on Jun 03, 2016