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Fairlight clarifies position as buyer for pro-audio portfolio sought

Aussie firm looks to shed its association with audio after nearly 40 years

Fairlight.AU has clarified its operational situation, following last week’s announcement (reported elsewhere) that the Australian company is actively seeking a buyer for its professional audio technology.

“Over its long history, Fairlight has continually developed highly innovative professional audio technologies that are used by a large number of major content producers around the world,” says Philip Belcher, CEO (pictured). “With [our] range of innovative new AES67-compliant audio distribution products on track for September release, it has been decided that the potential for Fairlight’s professional audio technologies is much larger than can be achieved under the current ownership.” For now, though, he says, it’s “business as usual.”

It is anticipated that with the level of interest for the technologies that offer the “potential of a key strategic advantage as part of a larger portfolio”, it should not be long before a transaction is complete, the company suggests.

The Fairlight brand has been associated with cutting-edge, professional digital audio technology for 40 years – though the business itself has had its ups and downs, including a period in administration in 2003.

“It is the intention that the widely acclaimed Fairlight name continues,” Belcher tells PSNEurope. “Whilst we cannot speculate on how this will transpire, this will be part of the negotiations with the new owner.”

Regarding the security of jobs at the firm, Belcher says: “The form of the team under the new ownership cannot be known until the transaction is complete. Currently the pro-audio team is around 20 people and whilst we cannot know what the new owner will do, we anticipate that the team will be kept together.”

Following the divestment of the pro-audio division, Fairlight.AU intends to focus on its “patented picture key work surface technology, [licensed] to manufacturers of highly user interactive tactile equipment”.

Patrick James, technical director at Jungle, the Soho-based post-production house running several major Fairlight editing systems, told PSNEurope: “Changes in ownership are always a concern, especially when a company appears on the up. We can only hope whoever the new owner is will understand where Fairlight sits in the market and will continue the close interaction with their clients which is so important.”