Piano maker Steinway is sold to US private equity firm

Posted on 2 Jul 2013

Private equity firm Kohlberg & Co will pay $438m (£288m) to acquire Steinway, the US manufacturer of pianos.

Steinway is being sold to private equity firm Kolberg. Photo courtesy of www.steinway-piano.com

Steinway Musical Instruments, founded 160-years ago but restructured with a modified name in 1995, had announced it was looking for a buyer earlier this year.

The company makes a range of musical instruments including brass, woodwind and strings, and had plans to launch a record label.

With a workforce of around 1,700 and operates 11 manufacturing facilities in the United States and Europe, today Steinway owns and produces Bach Stradivarius trumpets, CG Conn French horns and Selmer Paris saxophones, and holds more than 127 patents for musical instruments.

Michael Sweeney, chairman and interim chief executive, was pleased with the price the company received, which at $35 per share, was 15% more than the stock’s closing price on Friday. “Our agreement with Kohlberg represents an exceptional valuation for our shareholders,” said.

Shares in the firm were up more than 15% following the announcement, and have risen more than 70% this year.
Founded in 1853 in lower Manhattan by a German immigrant, Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (later Henry E. Steinway), the firm still has a manufacturing facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Christopher Anderson, a partner at the private equity company, said the firm wanted to grow Steinway globally, while “ensuring the artisanal manufacturing processes that make the company’s products unique are preserved.”