UK retailer GAK announces completion of private equity-backed management buyout

Managing directors have completed their buyout of the retailer.

UK musical instrument retailer GAK has announced that it has completed a management buyout, with co-managing directors Max McKellar and Ian Stephens finalising the deal with the backing of Risk Capital Partners.

READ MORE: Retailer Dawsons Music re-enters administration, closing all but one location and axing 48 jobs

McKellar and Stephens took over as joint managing directors in 2016, handling the day-to-day running of the business. CEO and founder Gary Marshall had been gradually stepping back at that time, and continued to do so after they took over.


Since 2016, GAK has reported an increase of more than 50 per cent in revenue, with sales set to exceed £40 million this financial year. The retailer currently has one physical location in Brighton, UK, and also operates online.

Following the buyout, Marshall will continue to advise the management team and keep a stake in the business.

McKellar and Stephens issued a joint statement, writing: “We are extremely excited about working with RCP on the next phase of GAK’s evolution both as a company and a recognizable and trusted brand. We are fortunate to have an exceptional workforce and to be supported by our highly experienced and talented senior management team who will collectively continue to help us implement the many growth initiatives we have identified.

“Both GAK and our industry as a whole have encountered and overcome many significant hurdles in the past few years and we feel we are now perfectly placed to push the business forwards and take advantage of the opportunities we see ahead of us in the short and long term.”