Legendary UK guitar amp maker agrees Swedish takeover
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Britain's Marshall Amplification, legendary maker of guitar amps used by rock icons including Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, agreed Thursday to a takeover from Swedish speaker giant Zound Industries.
Zound will buy family-owned Marshall Amplification to create a new giant called Marshall Group, they said in a joint statement that gave no financial details.
"Marshall Group is born, bringing together rock'n'roll legend Marshall Amplification and Zound Industries to pioneer the future of sound and technology," the statement added.
The Marshall family will become the largest shareholder in the group with a 24-percent stake.
The price was "not disclosed" but the new group's headquarters "will be in Stockholm", a Zound spokesman told AFP.
Stockholm-based Zound produces wireless speakers and headphones, including under the Marshall name.
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Thursday's deal, which includes all Marshall brands and subsidiaries, creates a group with combined annual sales exceeding $360 million.
Founder Jim Marshall worked as an engineer and a drummer and owned a London music shop before he began to build amplifiers in his garage in the early 1960s, before forming the Marshall Amplification company in 1962. He died in 2012 aged 88.
Rock legends Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend are also among those who used the London-born businessman's amplifiers in order to exploit the distinctive Marshall sound.
"Since my father and I created the original Marshall amp back in 1962, we have always looked for ways to deliver the pioneering Marshall sound to music lovers of all backgrounds and music tastes across the world," Jim's son Terry said in Thursday's statement.
"I'm confident that the Marshall Group will elevate this mission and spur the love for the Marshall brand."
Zound chairman Henri de Bodinat, who will hold the same role in the new group, added that the deal will bring "even greater innovation and value to clients, employees, and investors alike".