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California group Corsair buys up Simple Audio

An ambitious Scottish audio company backed by the Scottish Investment Bank and in its first year of product sales has been sold to a Californian computer hardware group.

Simple Audio, founded five years ago in Cathcart, Glasgow, by four former executives of high-end audio company Linn, has developed a networked HD music streaming system which sells below the £1000 level at which Linn products begin.

It has been acquired in a "multimillion-dollar deal" by Corsair, which makes high-performance products primarily for PC gaming enthusiasts. The £300m turnover company delayed an initial public offering last May in the wake of the Facebook IPO.

Simple Audio achieved first sales only last year after two funding rounds totalling £600,000 from Par Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank. A year ago it was targeting sales of £4m in its first year rising to £7m after three years.

Abbreviated accounts at Companies House show a loss of £184,739 in 2011 widening to £209,605 last year.

Peter Murphy, founder and chief executive of Simple Audio, said: "When I started Simple Audio the aim was to make high-quality digital music accessible to more people.

"Now the company is in a much stronger position to make this a reality. Corsair's extensive resources and worldwide distribution infrastructure will undoubtedly help Simple Audio achieve its ambitions, including plans to launch our products in the US and Asia during 2013. We're delighted to be a part of Corsair and very excited about the future."

Corsair said the Scottish team "would continue to work out of their offices in Scotland". Andy Paul, president and CEO of Corsair, said: "We have followed Simple Audio as a potential investment opportunity since 2010. We believe now is the right time to invest in the fast-growing digital music space."

Kerry Sharp, acting head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said the recognition of Simple Audio's technology by an international business such as Corsair was "a great opportunity to develop the brand and secure a skilled workforce in Scotland". He added: "It enables us to recycle our funds into other innovative Scottish companies with high growth potential."

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