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The start of a bidding war


Old King Log
Staff member
In today's financial section of the Houston (TX) Chronicle, there was a brief notice that a second bidder had emerged to sweeten the pot offered to Steinway for their business, lock, stock and barrel. I don't recall the name of the new bidder, or either the original amount offered or the new bid, other than it was about 5% greater than the first. Both firms were financial organizations, in no way part of the music business.

Why should this affect us, the end users of clarinets and saxophones and flutes and all sechlike? Well, I see two possible issues.

The first has to do with the process of a buyout in the first place. Past buyouts have resulted in the purchased company being shorn of the "excess" assets, streamlining the business that remains and making a few bucks in the process. I fear the peripheral portions of the Steinway business (i.e., the clarinets and saxophone and flutes) being dumped and left by the wayside. There are precious few such manufacturers remaining in the world, and quite a few of them are in the Steinway portfolio.

The second issue has to do with the bidding process itself. As both sides escalate their bids, the tendency to dump the "excess" will be all the stronger. With the both Selmer and Leblanc held by Steinway, there may be a decision to eliminate the duplication and shed the less popular of the two brands. While I'm not the world's biggest advocate of the Leblanc brand, I still see a need to have their "style" of instrument available for those who it suits.

Only time will tell, but I have to say that I have anxiety for the Selmer brand.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Y'know, I mentioned "crowdfunding" in a different thread (a crowdfunding website example is Kickstarter). I wonder if we could get all the various instrument enthusiast websites together to get enough cash to buy the company ourselves. Hey, I'd pay bucks to own a piece of Selmer.
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