Foresight generates 2x return from Blackstar exit

Foresight Group (“Foresight”) has successfully exited its investment in Blackstar Amplification Limited (“Blackstar”), an award-winning Northampton-based designer and manufacturer of innovative guitar amplifiers and effects pedals, following a management buyout. The transaction generated a c. 2x return for Foresight.

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Foresight originally invested £3.5m in 2012 to provide growth capital and partially restructure the shareholder base in Blackstar. In addition, Foresight introduced Keith Pacey, former Executive Chairman and CEO of Maplin Electronics, to the Board as Chair.

Using Foresight’s investment, Blackstar has more than doubled turnover over the last four years, established itself as the #2 amplifier brand in the UK and USA and broadened its product catalogue with a range of innovative digital audio products including the award-winning ID:Series range. Blackstar has also expanded internationally into fast growing markets with over 50 global distributors and access to 3,000 musical instrument (MI) retailers worldwide.

Blackstar will continue to work closely with its manufacturing and distribution partners to develop the business into a vertically integrated amplifier brand and realise significant synergies across marketing, operations, logistics, technology and products.

Rodney Appiah, Foresight Group Investor Director (until completion), commented:
“We are delighted to have supported Ian and the management team over the past 5 years and to have played a part in Blackstar’s continued growth and development over that period. Today, the business is in a stronger position to capitalise on the global amplifier market and so I look forward to seeing Blackstar continue to delight customers for years to come”

Ian Robinson, MD of Blackstar added:
This deal marks an exciting new chapter in Blackstar’s history. I would like to thank Foresight for their support over the last 5 years and their help in facilitating this deal, which allows the company to retain its independence and gives Management the opportunity to drive the business to the next level. We are looking forward to many years of working with our distributors, dealers and, most of all, our customers to continue to deliver “The Sound In Your Head”.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Ben Thompson, Foresight Group, bthompson@foresightgroup.eu +44 (0)20 3667 8155

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About Foresight Group LLP ("Foresight”):

Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has £2.6 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising eighteen investment professionals, invests typically between £1m and £5m in management buy-outs, management buy-ins and growth capital investments in UK SMEs.

Foresight was voted “VCT House of the Year” at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.

www.foresightgroup.eu