Gear4Music appoints Panmure Gordon to explore a float

Andrew Wass
Andrew Wass
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FAST-GROWING RETAILER Gear4Music has appointed advisors to explore a float.

The York business is one of the UK’s largest online sellers of musical instruments and equipment.

It reported record revenues of £24m in the year to February.

The Yorkshire Post broke the news last October that Gear4Music was “assessing options” for its future.

Stock market conditions have improved in recent months and yesterday the private equity-backed company confirmed the appointment of Panmure Gordon, the investment banker, to advise on its options.

The company is growing strongly, driven by robust international sales and buoyant Christmas trading.

Gear4Music said its international sales – supported by 19 country specific websites across Europe – almost doubled last year.

Orders placed online during the Christmas period ranged from kazoos costing 99p to a Yamaha digital piano costing more than £8,000.

The online music shop, which has almost 600,000 customers, benefitted from the rising popularity of “neighbour friendly” electronic drum kits and digital keyboards where the player can use headphones.

Launched in 2003, Gear4music sells more than 27,000 retail items from more than 550 manufacturers, ranging from guitars to saxophones and DJ equipment, including its own-brand products.

It operates from a 135,000 sq ft warehouse near York where it can despatch more than 10,000 orders each day. Alongside the warehouse is a 9,000 sq ft state-of-the-art showroom, featuring a guitar room, singing booth and self-service kiosks.

Andrew Wass, founder and managing director, said: “2014 was an incredibly strong period for our business and we have entered 2015 in excellent shape.

“The next phase of our growth plans will see us invest further in our online marketing initiatives while also developing our bespoke IT platform.”

Mr Wass sold a minority stake in his firm to Key Capital Partners for £3.4m in 2012.

The entrepreneur, who used to run a recording studio, sold computers online before moving into the musical instruments market.

His company’s products include own-label electric guitar and amp packages from £89.