AIR Studios, the London-based recording facility established by Beatles producer George Martin, has changed hands in a deal worth £3.25 million ($5.6 million).

AIR Studios, the London-based recording facility established by Beatles producer George Martin, has changed hands in a deal worth £3.25 million ($5.6 million).

Independent London-based recording studio operator Strongroom Limited has acquired the studio from British music firm Chrysalis Group and audio equipment manufacturer Pioneer GB Limited, which were 50/50 joint partners in AIR. The two firms will each receive £1.625 million ($2.83 million) in cash on completion of the deal.

In a statement issued today (Feb. 8), Strongroom owner and managing director Richard Boote says he intends to keep running both businesses independent of one another. "I believe that bringing Strongroom and AIR together will not only ensure the survival of two of the greatest recording facilities in Europe, but also enhance the offerings of both studios," he says.

Martin, who retired in 2002, established AIR Studios in central London's Oxford Circus in 1969 after splitting with EMI. The studio relocated in 1992 to its current location in Hampstead, north London, which comprises studio areas, post-production suites and pre-production rooms. U2, Robbie Williams, Coldplay and Radiohead are among the acts that have recently used its recording facilities. Martin sold a controlling interest in Air to Chrysalis in 1975.

Boote launched Strongroom Studios in 1984. Strongroom now operates a multi-studio complex in Shoreditch, East London. It also has music publishing and artist management arms, the latter concentrating on performers, writers and engineers.