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Management buy-out at Universal Live

Event production firm and its audio-visual partner Universal AV have been bought out by the management team

Pictured: Universal Live director Jon Eden

Event production firm Universal Live and its audio-visual partner Universal AV been bought out by the existing management team.

The management buy-out has been led by Universal Live director Jon Eden, financial director Andy Robinson and MD Kirsty Waine and Universal AV MD Nick Fitzpatrick.

Universal AV and Universal Live have been acquired by a new holding company, Universal Group Holdings. The acquisition includes the company’s headquarters in Bradford as well as the offices in Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle, Rossendale and Rugby, all staff, assets and order book.

Consolidated accounts for the Universal AV Services group show a profit of £1 million for the year-ending 31 December 2014, on turnover of £13.6m. 

Fitzpatrick said: “We have some ambitious growth plans in place for the companies. In the industry we are renowned for our integration and installation services, however we truly see ourselves as a double threat. We have one of the largest fleet of Panasonic projectors throughout the UK, for use in live events. Combined Universal is a true force to reckon with.”

Waine said: “We see the management buyout as an exciting opportunity to collaborate and explore our joint customer base. Universal as a group has a strong team and service offering which we aim to develop.”

The management team believe the transaction will help support their future growth plans. The businesses, formed 25 years ago, will be able to provide a full set of solutions from interactive meeting room installations, to event management of AGMs and product launches.

Fitzpatrick added: "We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the previous owner and founder of Universal. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our employees, clients, distributors, partners, subcontractors and suppliers for their loyalty over the past 25 years, and long may this continue."

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