GAK is a Brighton fixture with its spectacular shop in the North Laines – an Aladdin’s cave of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards and other musical instruments. It was founded in 1992 as a local market stall but has since diversified and become an omni-retailer, with over two thirds of its revenues now generated through online sales.

In the current financial year, it is expected to enjoy revenue of £35 million and record profits. It traded successfully throughout the pandemic, even though its retail outlet was unable to open some of the time.  Its expert staff provide friendly advice in store, via the phone and online. The business holds a huge range of stock, enjoying strong supplier relationships with leading brands like Fender, Gibson, Roland and Yamaha.

Risk Capital Partners acquired the business in September 2021, backing the incumbent management team, led by joint Managing Directors, Max Mckellar and Ian Stephens. Management plan to grow the business both online and via retail expansion, developing the brand and widening the product range in the coming years. They also intend to explore new markets.

Why we invested:

  • Omni-channel retailer with diverse customer base, spanning multiple segments
  • Opportunity to benefit from increasing online penetration for the category
  • Strong brand with unrivalled reputation
  • Opportunity to partner with impressive & entrepreneurial management team