Blackstone Audio's founders buy back the business

Ashland-based Blackstone Audio has been purchased back by its original owners along with the U.S. assets of AudioGo, the U.K.-based company that bought out Blackstone less than a year ago.

Blackstone's founders, Craig and Michelle Black, were given the opportunity to purchase back their locally grown business along with AudioGo's U.S.-arm and did so Oct. 8, said Josh Stanton, Blackstone's president and new chief executive officer.

In the U.K., AudioGo has suspended its business operations while it seeks investors or a buyer, Stanton said. The company purchased Blackstone for an undisclosed amount on Dec. 31.

Stanton said management troubles in the U.K. were negatively impacting AudioGo's U.S.-based operations.

"There were problems with the U.K. business, the parent company, and, as it became clear that they were not going to able to clear the U.K. business without some new investors coming in, they decide to split off the American side," Stanton said.

Stanton would not disclose how much money the Blacks spent purchasing back their company and AudioGo's U.S. assets.

The Blacks launched Blackstone, whose collection of titles has doubled in size since the acquisition of AudioGo's U.S.-catalog, from their Medford living room in 1987.

Blackstone employs about 150 people in Ashland and about 30 more in offices throughout the U.S., said Stanton, who expects the company to expand its Ashland operations.

— Sam Wheeler

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