A NORTH East computer games accessory company is set to double its workforce in the region after being snapped up by a top US audio firm.
Lygo International, which was set up in Darlington in 1991, is now part of the Turtle Beach empire. The North East firm was set up in 1999 as a supplier of accessories to the European market and became Turtle Beach’s exclusive distributor and support centre for its gaming headsets in the UK and Ireland in January 2011.
Turtle Beach, backed by US private equity group Stripes Group, paid an undisclosed sum for the Darlington firm.
Paul Crooks, Lygo’s financial officer, is staying with the company along with the rest of its 25 North staff.
He said: “We anticipate significant growth in the Darlington office. I expect the headcount to double over the next couple of years. It’s great news for everybody who works for this company.
“It gives tremendous security for the next couple of years. Turtle Beach will use Darlington as their European hub.
“Turtle Beach creates remarkable products and consistently innovates in the marketplace. We are very proud of our effort to advance the brand in the UK and support our customers.”
Lygo’s Darlington office is the business’s main logistical, warehousing and customer support centre from where it ships Turtle Beach products to customers including Argos, Game, HMV, Tesco and Amazon. Its Southampton satellite office deals with sales.
Turtle Beach chief executive Juergen Stark said: “The acquisition of Lygo helps extend Turtle Beach’s global reach and expands the brand while better supporting consumers, developers, publishers and our European distribution partners.
“In Lygo we’ve found a tremendous partner and valuable internal strengths as we look to evolve our international presence.”
Turtle Beach is a global leader in game audio and makes some of the world’s most advanced gaming headsets including the top-selling Ear Force X12, PX21, XP500, PX5 and a line of officially licensed headsets for the Nintendo Wii.
Shawn Bone of BTG Corporate Finance in Newcastle led the transaction on behalf of Lygo shareholders Paul Crooks and Ian Bourne.
He and Tom Fitzpatrick of Dickinson Dees, who also advised on the deal, believe it shows that overseas private equity-backed firms are looking to the UK – as areas for investment.
Bone said: “The combination of Lygo and Turtle Beach makes for a very powerful international business footprint.”
Fitzpatrick added: “Turtle Beach intends to use the Lygo acquisition to expand its European operations.”