By David Davies and Frank Wells
UK (April 18, 2007)--Amplifier manufacturer MC2 Audio and processing specialist XTA Electronics have announced that they are merging to instigate an ongoing "cross-fertilization of ideas." "They have knowledge in areas we don't, and [vice versa]," MC2 co-founder Ian McCarthy--who will head up the combined group--told Pro Sound News Europe.
The deal has been in negotiation for three months. XTA and MC2 will retain their respective bases in Stourport-on-Severn and Honiton. Moreover, they will continue to operate as separate companies, albeit with a shared directorship that sees McCarthy assume the role of overall managing director, and fellow MC2 co-founder Terry Clarke and XTA's John Austin become technical directors.
Quested Monitoring Systems, in which McCarthy and Clarke have majority interests, is also part of the new arrangement. Roger Quested will continue as technical director at that part of the business.
XTA co-founder Andrew Grayland, however, has opted not to be a part of the combined operation, although Austin notes that he may well work for the new group on a consultancy basis in the future. His departure follows that of sales and marketing manager Guy Lewis, who recently left XTA to establish Audioforce, which assumed exclusive UK distribution responsibilities for Lab.gruppen earlier this month.
Jack Kelly, president of Group One, commented: "As the exclusive U.S. distributor for both of these world class brands, I am extremely enthusiastic about the product development and manufacturing capabilities of the merged companies. This is an ideal fit in terms of design skills and personnel and will lead to exponential sales growth over the next few years as new products are brought to the marketplace."
While all parties are stressing that it's early days and that the new arrangement will be allowed to develop at a natural pace, it's clear that the new partners are aware of the "synergy" between their product ranges. "We believe that the market is moving in the direction of DSP being included inside amplifiers," said Austin, who reveals that the company has been inching towards its own amplifier development over the past year. "It's very exciting news, [but] there are not going to be any big changes on day one. The group will evolve over time," concluded McCarthy.