A HOME cinema business that recently reported 'booming' sales during lockdown is now under new management.

Bacup based AV Online has now been acquired by Yorkshire based Gear4Music, the UK's largest musical instrument and equipment retailer, which corporate advisors believe represents an opportunity to grow the market established by the Rossendale company.

The deal was worth a total of £6.2million.

In a statement, Gear4music CEO Andrew Wass said: "Operating in a £400million UK audio video market that is currently dominated by high-street based retailers, the board believes that AV Online will greatly benefit from being transferred onto the group's highly scalable European e-commerce platform and being rebranded to AV.com."

AV Online has been based in Bacup since being founded by Carl Pickles in 2003, with its roots remaining firmly in the Rossendale area ever since.

Since then, the company grew rapidly to become one of the UK’s leading online retailers of Hi-Fi, home cinema, and specialist audiovisual equipment.

However, it is the past year that has proven one of the most challenging for the company with not only the impact of the pandemic but also other obstacles like Brexit, component shortages, and the rising cost of shipping equipment from countries like China and Vietnam to the UK.

However, last may AV Online reported that there has been a huge growth in sales of domestic Hi-Fi equipment, homes cinemas and audio equipment during this period.

There has also been a huge boom in vinyl record sales and musical accessories, with the New Line Industrial Estate company attributing this to a revived interest in the format from younger listeners.

Gear4Music will now hope to keep this growth on track following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

During the course of the takeover deal, advice was provided to Carl Pickles by legal firm Rickitt Mitchell.

Partner Neil Mitchell said: "Working with Carl has been a pleasure. He has created a specialist and high quality business that has been on an exciting journey to date.

"The acquisition of AV Online and subsequent acquisition of the AV.com domain gives Gear4Music a real opportunity to further develop its reach in the AV market across key European territories."

"The £400million UK audio video market was traditionally dominated by the high street, and has seen a big shift to online over the years.

"This transition will help Gear4Music to strengthen its e-commerce capabilities and puts it in a strong position to capitalise on further growth.”