Grange and Randall Lead Management Buyout of Fine Sounds Group

McIntosh's President Charlie Randall, pictured outside the company's Binghamton HQ. (Photo: John Atkinson)

We received the following press release on May 7.—Ed.

Mauro Grange, CEO of Fine Sounds SpA, and Charlie Randall, longtime President of McIntosh Laboratory, Inc., have announced their plans for a management buyout of Fine Sounds Group in partnership with LBO France and Yarpa. The acquisition will facilitate greater opportunities for global collaborations amongst the product development, marketing, distribution and finance teams of each of the Group's portfolio of brands, which includes Sonus Faber, Audio Research Corporation, Wadia Digital, Sumiko and McIntosh.

Grange, Randall, LBO France and Yarpa are purchasing Fine Sounds Group from Milan-based investment firm Quadrivio, which has owned the Group since 2008. The company headquarters will subsequently relocate to New York City, with Grange serving as Group CEO and Randall serving as Group COO and President of McIntosh concurrently.

Mauro Grange, a dynamic entrepreneur, joined Fine Sounds Group in 2009 with the intention of creating the most illustrious group of brands in high-end audio. He spearheaded Fine Sounds Group's 2012 acquisition of McIntosh—a brand synonymous with ultimate quality audio worldwide -and thereby became acquainted with McIntosh President Charlie Randall. The two forged an outstanding relationship, dedicated to building the combined company into a leader in the international luxury audio arena. In just two short years, Grange and Randall made substantial progress leveraging distribution synergies between the Group's brands, which are some of the best in the industry.

According to Grange, "When Charlie and I met, there was instant chemistry. We both had the same vision for the future—merging Fine Sounds and McIntosh in order to create a leading group of luxury lifestyle brands.When the opportunity presented itself to buy Fine Sounds back from Quadrivio, it was a dream come true for us both. Thanks to our partnership with LBO France and Yarpa—two of Europe's leading private equity firms—we can now fast-track our plans for accelerated global growth and a commanding presence in high-end audio."

Charlie Randall has been an integral part of the McIntosh family since the start of his professional career in 1985, and it was his deep knowledge of the products and passion for engineering and design that afforded him the opportunity to be named President in 2001. "Having grown up at McIntosh, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to own the company," said Randall. "When I met Mauro, I knew we were going to do great things for McIntosh and Fine Sounds—things that would create a dynamic positive change in the industry."

"The brands under the Group umbrella are some of the most respected in the high-end audio industry," said Yarpa CEO Roberto D'Angelo. LBO France Director Philippe Guérin added "With Mauro and Charlie at the helm, we are confident the company is going to be a great success and are thrilled to be partners in this exciting acquisition."

zimmer74's picture

"We both had the same vision for the future—merging Fine Sounds and McIntosh in order to create a leading group of luxury lifestyle brands."

Well, at least there on the right track with McIntosh, the favorite brand of rich doctors since the 50's.

jd514's picture

as a rich doctor who owns mcintosh I take offense to that statement, sir. and for the record my favorite brand is rolex.

drblank's picture

Rolex doesn't make audio equipment, that I'm aware of. They make expensive watches that don't actually keep very good time.

jd514's picture

don't be silly, i don't use my rollie to tell time. i have a cell phone for that.

drblank's picture

on a watch that doesn't tell time very well? That kind of defeats the purpose don't you think? there are plenty of nice looking watches that tell time better that are extremely well made and designed. or is it that you just like the status that goes along with a Rolex? Just curious.

corrective_unconscious's picture

Because relative to the very best, McIntosh gear doesn't actually sound very good, imo.

jd514's picture

it used to tell very good time, exceeding COSC standards of -4 to +6 seconds / 24hr. But ever since I had the dial flooded with big rocks i have found it hard to actually tell time with it, especially in direct light. But you are correct, a toy vending machine quartz watch outperforms any mechanical watch in terms of accuracy.

Doctor Fine's picture

As one who owns and maintains near-heirloom quality audio gear these brands are all quite aspirational. I have many times appreciated the value of buying and holding (and sometimes overhauling) heirloom products. They never go out of style and they all ways provide a luxury experience.

Thus I have overhauled my Rolex. And also worked on my audio system maintaining and improving it likewise. It is a joy to own something worth keeping and occasionally servicing.

But now as for these companies and their next move. Do they share marketing and distribution information in the search for the kind of vendors who will do justice to their brands?

Will there finally be a push to get product in front of rich people who can easily afford their expensive aspirational brands? Right now I can't think of anyplace nearby in Manhattan where I can go in and look at this gear and perhaps hear it.

Stereo Exchange comes to mind but they really don't have anything incredible in the way of demo rooms.

What is lacking are places where it becomes plain why one simply must IMMEDIATELY take out a loan and buy this gear. Or better yet, great sound rooms which attract the sort of wealthy clients who think nothing of simply writing a seven figure check for their little audio dalliance.

In the past at least one huge Manhattan retailer (Harvey)crashed and burned during the economic downturn. The excuse was that the installation of plasma TVs went soft over pricing and saturation. The reality was that audio brands were ignored. The Harvey sound demo rooms were sad.

It seemed to me that Rich guys didn't get to hear what they wanted and consequently did not buy anything audio.

Will new stores capable of showing the public these products come into being and multiply and be nurtured? What is the PLAN?

The problem isn't the brands or their products. The problem is getting the word out to the rich that these products are here to stay and that a great home audio system is a luxury well deserved once the millions have been made.

I wish them all the luck in the world. It is wonderful to have a TOP. If I'm the bottom---these guys are the TOP (with apologies to Cole Porter). We all benefit from their continued success and availability. We NEED them to be there when repairs and overhauls are required.

Just like a Rolex.