Metallica have purchased a majority stake in a vinyl pressing plant.

The heavy metal band have become majority partners in Furnace Record Pressing in Alexandria, Virginia, which is one of the largest pressing plants in the United States, boasting 12 Pheenix Alpha presses and two Finebilt presses.

The plant - which was founded in 1996 by Eric Astor - pressed several reissues for Metallica, including box set vinyl of their albums ‘Kill ‘Em All’, ‘Ride The Lightning’ and ‘Master Of Puppets’.

In a statement, Astor said: “Building Furnace into the dedicated and experienced family of experts that it is today has been a huge effort, but immensely gratifying.

“Knowing our long-term future is secured while also being better able to take advantage of growth opportunities is really exciting for every member of the Furnace staff.”

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich added: “We couldn’t be more happy to take our partnership with Furnace — and Eric, Ali and Mark specifically — to the next level. Their indie spirit, the passion they have for their craft… culturally we’re kindred souls.”

'Enter Sandman' singer James Hetfield said: “Furnace has been great to Metallica and more importantly to our fans. This deepened relationship between Metallica and Furnace ensures that fans of vinyl everywhere, particularly our Fifth Members, will have continued access to high quality records in the future.”

At the start of 2023, it was revealed that that vinyl outsold CD format for first time in 35 years last year. Overall music sales increased by three per cent in 2022, which is the highest figure since 2003.