August 30, 2014

AudioGO Acquires Blackstone Audio

The AudioGO Group completed its acquisition of Blackstone Audio from founders Craig and Michelle Black, effective December 27, 2012, adding Blackstone’s 5000-title catalog to its existing 10,000 audiobook offerings, some 4000 of which are available to libraries. Craig Black was appointed to the Group’s board of directors, and he and Michelle Black will remain as consultants to the Group. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Josh Stanton will continue as president of Blackstone Audio and will also serve as CEO of the combined North American operations, which will be based in Blackstone’s home turf of Ashland, OR.

Mike Bowen, CEO of AudioGO, will serve as CEO of the combined group, based in Bath, England. Michael Kuhn will remain non-executive chairman of the group. Mike Desrosiers was appointed CFO of North American Operations; Heather Johnson remains CFO of Blackstone Audio.

In a statement, Kuhn referenced Blackstone’s “innovative digital initiatives” such as its new Downpour.com website.

The acquisition was supported by Alcuin Capital, which also backed the group of private investors who bought AudioGo, formerly BBC Audiobooks, in 2010. This isn’t the first expansion for AudioGo since that acquisition: according to LJ sister publication School Library Journal, AudioGo merged with Audio Bookshelf in 2011.

Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz (mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com) is Senior Editor, News and Features of Library Journal.

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