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Piano-maker Steinway gets a better offer in musical bidding war

August 12, 2013|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Steinway is in the midst of a bidding war between two financial firms.
Steinway is in the midst of a bidding war between two financial firms. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles…)

Pianos seem to be popular on Wall Street, as two financial firms face off in their quests to acquire Steinway Musical Instruments Inc.

The Waltham, Mass. company — which in addition to its namesake pianos also makes Bach Stradivarius trumpets, Selmer Paris saxophones, Leblanc clarinets and more — said it has received a superior takeover bid to the deal announced in June with private equity firm Kohlberg & Co.

The new bidder, an unnamed affiliate of a mysterious investment firm only described as managing $15 billion, is offering $38 a share for Steinway. The proposal values the company at $477 million.

On June 30, Steinway said it had agreed to sell itself to Kohlberg for $35 a share.

Steinway stock was up 9%, or $3.27 a share, to $39.50 a share in midday trading in New York.

Though Steinway’s board has deemed the new bid to be superior, it also said that Kohlberg has the option to increase its proposition. The private equity firm has through Wednesday to do so.

Steinway has 11 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Europe and more than 1,600 workers. The business, which also owns recordings producer and distributor ArkivMusic, stems from 160-year-old piano brand Steinway & Sons.  

The company was founded in 1853 by a German immigrant and cabinet maker in Manhattan. Each grand piano takes nearly a year to create.


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Follow Tiffany Hsu on Twitter at @tiffhsulatimes

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