Audio firm sounds expansion plans with £2.1m investment

Mercia Asset Management has announced that its portfolio company Warwick Acoustics has secured £2.1m of syndicated investment, including £500,000 from Mercia.

The company has also recently won a £400,000 grant from Innovate UK, in conjunction with the University of Warwick.

Warwick Acoustics is one of Mercia’s earliest investments, having received its first investment through Mercia’s managed funds in January 2013 before becoming a balance sheet direct investment in December 2014. As at 31 March , Mercia held a 52.9% fully diluted direct holding in Warwick Acoustics.

The company, which is based in facilities at the Mira Technology Park in Warwickshire, develops highly innovative audio products for both the automotive audio market and the personal and studio headphone market.

Mike Grant, CEO at Warwick Acoustics, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for the automotive industry. Government regulations and new cash flow pressures are requiring OEMs to rationalise model ranges to reduce costs and to focus on accelerating developments of Electric Vehicles (“EVs”). This in turn has placed a premium on light-weighting and power-efficient technologies in order to increase range and improve the attractiveness of EVs.

“The recent investment in Warwick Acoustics and the award of an Innovate UK grant under highly competitive conditions recognise the class leading weight savings and power efficiency of our high- performance, patented ElectroAcoustic Panel technology. With this combined funding, we are in an excellent position to take the next step in our goal of disrupting the way in which in-car entertainment is delivered.”

Mark Payton, CEO at Mercia, added: “We believe Warwick Acoustics has a compelling product set and is well positioned to capitalise on both the increasing demands from the automotive industry for smaller, lightweight, quality audio as well as similar trends from consumers.

“We are pleased to continue supporting the business in delivering on these commercial opportunities through a meaningful syndication. Businesses such as Warwick Acoustics have significant potential to help the automotive industry by reducing weight, space and costs within an emission-focused regulatory environment. We therefore continue to be encouraged by the business’s significant potential to assist the increasingly innovative automotive industry.”