AudioGO has acquired Blackstone Audio from the Black family for an undisclosed price. The purchase gives the U.K.-based AudioGO a major American presence to complement its existing operations in Rhode Island and New York City.
AudioGO CEO Mike Bowen will serve as CEO of the combined group in England, and Josh Stanton will continue in his role as president of Blackstone and serve as CEO of the combined operations in North America. As part of the deal, Craig Black has been named to the group's board and he and his wife Michelle will serve as consultants.
Additionally, Mike Desrosiers has been appointed CFO of North American operations, with Heather Johnson remaining CFO of Blackstone Audio. Former head of PolyGram Films Michael Kuhn will remain non-executive chairman of the enlarged group.
“We are delighted that Craig and Michelle Black have entrusted us with the future of the great Company they founded,” said Michael Kuhn in a statement. “Its reputation for quality audio recordings is unmatched and under Josh Stanton they have pioneered innovative digital initiatives with its new ‘Downpour.com’ website. Together we look forward to providing an exceptional offering to audiobook customers worldwide.”
Formerly BBC Audiobooks, AudioGO, which boasts a catalog of 10,000 titles, was acquired by a group of private investors backed by Alcuin Capital in July 2010.
AudioGO’s acquisition of Blackstone—with its 5,000-title catalog—was supported by Alcuin Capital. Mark Storey, the firm’s co-founder, said in a statement, “Our confidence in AudioGO has encouraged us to support this significant expansion of its operations and we are excited by the growth prospects afforded by the combination with the exciting team and resources at Blackstone.”