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#2111113 - 07/01/13 10:49 AM Steinway Bought Out and Going Private  
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#2111123 - 07/01/13 11:12 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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#2111127 - 07/01/13 11:19 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Wow. $35.00 per share would be a good return on my 200 shares, which were purchased for $22 per share. Maybe this will start a bidding war with Samick? The standstill agreement will not be in effect.

Since I'll never be able to own a Steinway, it was nice to be able to sat I owned Steinway.

So, who's Kohlberg?


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
#2111135 - 07/01/13 11:33 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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For those, like me, who don't understand much about financial matters, what does this mean besides Steinway will be owned privately? Is this good or bad for Steinway pianos and for the piano industry? What would be the typical reasons for this type of decision?

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#2111139 - 07/01/13 11:36 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Steinway has been privately owned most of its history.


Semipro Tech
#2111141 - 07/01/13 11:38 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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There are a bunch of press releases and stuff like that on the Internet now if you find one of the many news stories. The press releases make it sound as if the buyer wants to keep the company going and even to improve it in terms of sales, etc., which I hope is the case. Wikipedia has an entry on the buyer (Kohlberg) which makes it sound as though this is a possible outcome.

On the other hand, many purchases like this are made by companies that want to cash out a company that has a lot of liquid assets. I have to confess to a bit of worry about this outcome, especially since Steinway just sold Steinway Hall, so has a lot of cash around.

But, on the other hand, Steinway Hall did not bring close to what Kohlberg is paying, and the Steinway Board has apparently recommended that all shareholders tender their shares. So it could be hopeful!

Bob Snyder, what do you think?

#2111142 - 07/01/13 11:39 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What would be the typical reasons for this type of decision?

See About Kohlberg.

Last edited by Withindale; 07/01/13 12:17 PM. Reason: link corrected

Ian Russell
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#2111153 - 07/01/13 12:00 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]  
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Originally Posted by Rank Piano Amateur
There are a bunch of press releases and stuff like that on the Internet now if you find one of the many news stories. The press releases make it sound as if the buyer wants to keep the company going and even to improve it in terms of sales, etc., which I hope is the case. Wikipedia has an entry on the buyer (Kohlberg) which makes it sound as though this is a possible outcome.

On the other hand, many purchases like this are made by companies that want to cash out a company that has a lot of liquid assets. I have to confess to a bit of worry about this outcome, especially since Steinway just sold Steinway Hall, so has a lot of cash around.

But, on the other hand, Steinway Hall did not bring close to what Kohlberg is paying, and the Steinway Board has apparently recommended that all shareholders tender their shares. So it could be hopeful!

Bob Snyder, what do you think?

I'm not Bob but I would be VERY surprised if this were geared to dismantle Steinway. It is simply too valuable an asset.

There could be debt structure problems like the Bain Capital-Guitar Center situation. And there could be increasing pressure to move the NY factory to a less valuable location. And I agree that it could get VERY interesting if other bidders step up.

(My stock in Steinway had a nice increase today.)



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#2111158 - 07/01/13 12:09 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Thanks, Steve, I had not thought of the move-to-less-expensive-real-estate risk. Depending on where it is, Steinway may not be New York Steinway any more. If manufacturing moves to a different country (China, to pick a wild example), they won't even be American any more.

I hope that they stay in NY. They have built a lot of their mystique over the years on being New York Steinway and using only American parts; it would be sad to lose that.

Will this affect the relationship between the NY and Hamburg arms of the company?

Last edited by Rank Piano Amateur; 07/01/13 12:09 PM.
#2111163 - 07/01/13 12:22 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Withindale]  
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What would be the typical reasons for this type of decision?

See About Kohlberg.

Kohlberg say, "Kohlberg invests in companies where it can work in partnership with senior management to identify growth opportunities and implement fundamental operating and strategic changes, resulting in substantial increases in revenue and cash flow. Kohlberg’s use of moderate amounts of debt financing in acquiring companies affords the financial flexibility necessary to attain these corporate objectives."

No doubt Kohlberg have spotted opportunities for growth and will welcome any suggestions in this thread that help to achieve their aims.

No need for wild speculation, though.


Ian Russell
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#2111165 - 07/01/13 12:27 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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The stock is now $35.09 a share. Weird.


Gary
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#2111166 - 07/01/13 12:29 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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My thoughts about moving: The value of the Astoria property is very high and could command big bucks. A sale could infuse yet more capital. My guess is that Steinway might relocate to some area within New York State, to hold onto the tradition of 150 years. I doubt that it would relocate its manufacturing 'off shore.'

Hamburg and NY are the same company, all under the umbrella of LVB holdings. On paper they are the same corporation with independent management. Just as are the various other divisions manufacturing a full assortment of musical instruments, recordings, and sound equipment. I read it to mean that it has all been sold lock, stock and barrel.

But, then again, that only my opinion as I understand the sale as of today.

(Yea, I'm grinnin' too. Capital gains are going to be a bite, however.)


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2111167 - 07/01/13 12:30 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Plowboy]  
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Originally Posted by Plowboy
The stock is now $35.09 a share. Weird.


That happens when a buy-out is announced.


Semipro Tech
#2111168 - 07/01/13 12:32 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]  
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Originally Posted by Rank Piano Amateur

Will this affect the relationship between the NY and Hamburg arms of the company?


It's the same company. Whoever buys Steinway Instruments will get both piano factories as well and the band instrument manufacturers.


Gary
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#2111171 - 07/01/13 12:34 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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I read about this early this morning - probably from the same press release that Steve saw.

This could get quite interesting. Steinway owns plenty of assets that could be sold while still making pianos.

I have my ideas of likely fallout, but from what I could find of Kohlberg's history - closing Steinway's doors are unlikely. Changing the way they do business seems quite likely.

My 2 cents,


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#2111176 - 07/01/13 12:38 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Withindale]  
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This doesn't sound good.

Quote
Implementation of Operational Improvement Plan

Upon completion of the investment, the first phase of a new strategic plan is implemented. Typically, this phase focuses on excess cost reduction, implementing of best practices techniques to increase centralization of processes and improve efficiency. In Kohlberg’s Industrial Manufacturing and Consumer investments, this cost reduction phase is regularly accompanied by substantial cash flow improvements from working capital reduction. Additional liquidity is also regularly achieved in this phase through divesting non-core assets, which can be a driver of attractive deleveraging, business simplification and further cost improvement.

Targeted Growth and Business Repositioning

The last phase of Kohlberg’s ownership is a renewed focus on sales growth. In each new investment, a growth plan is implemented, frequently calling for savings generated through cost reduction to be reinvested back into the businesses in the form of product development, new market expansion or capacity improvement. In addition, in over half of its investments, Kohlberg will pursue and complete add-on acquisitions that afford an opportunity to complement existing products and distribution, while also creating impetus for further synergy and cost reduction.


Gary
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#2111183 - 07/01/13 12:44 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
My thoughts about moving: The value of the Astoria property is very high and could command big bucks. A sale could infuse yet more capital. My guess is that Steinway might relocate to some area within New York State, to hold onto the tradition of 150 years. I doubt that it would relocate its manufacturing 'off shore.'

Hamburg and NY are the same company, all under the umbrella of LVB holdings. On paper they are the same corporation with independent management. Just as are the various other divisions manufacturing a full assortment of musical instruments, recordings, and sound equipment. I read it to mean that it has all been sold lock, stock and barrel.

But, then again, that only my opinion as I understand the sale as of today.

(Yea, I'm grinnin' too. Capital gains are going to be a bite, however.)


Keep in mind also that Samick bought a huge parcel in Gallatin, TN only a small percentage of which is developed. The chairman of Samick owns such a large portion of Steinway stock that he had to be involved in the decision to go private.



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#2111187 - 07/01/13 12:55 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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True, Steve. I hadn't considered that connection. There is something odd about saying Tennessee Steinway, y'all.

(WOW - New marketing angle: "Steinway - The Thoroughbred of Pianos")


Marty in Minnesota

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#2111204 - 07/01/13 01:29 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Perhaps they will make a 'Crown Jewels' Nashville edition, finished in buckskin with 'Steinway and Boys' picked out tastefully in rhinestones on the lid.

#2111206 - 07/01/13 01:29 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Another possibility would be Samick divesting itself from Steinway and building pianos under their own name versus the pianos they build for Steinway. Samick has the plant and where with all to build an instrument of what ever quality they want in their new state of the art factory. They also have the financial resources to do what ever they want and are not dependent on Steinways portion of their business. On the opposite side Steinway in very dependent on Samick for their share of their business. Just a thought.


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#2111228 - 07/01/13 02:16 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: pianocritic]  
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Originally Posted by pianocritic
Another possibility would be Samick divesting itself from Steinway and building pianos under their own name versus the pianos they build for Steinway.


I do not believe that Samick builds any pianos for Steinway.

Having Samick take over Steinway is, I think, a better idea than having some Wall Street firm take over.


Gary
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#2111234 - 07/01/13 02:23 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: pianocritic]  
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Originally Posted by pianocritic
Another possibility would be Samick divesting itself from Steinway and building pianos under their own name versus the pianos they build for Steinway. Samick has the plant and where with all to build an instrument of what ever quality they want in their new state of the art factory. They also have the financial resources to do what ever they want and are not dependent on Steinways portion of their business. On the opposite side Steinway in very dependent on Samick for their share of their business. Just a thought.


Not only doesn't Samick build for Steinway (yet!!!) but Samick hasn't built a new plant since the 1990s when they built just outside of Jakarta. (I've been there and, while they turn out a good value instrument, it is far from state of the art.

Where did you come up with this stuff?


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#2111236 - 07/01/13 02:30 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Congrats to all the LVB owners. A buyout like this, a company in the black, is the ultimate confirmation of its value. Bummer that we won't have the transparency of a public company henceforth. I was hoping to get in at some point in the oscillations in price, but no such luck.


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#2111261 - 07/01/13 03:29 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Sorry- Brain Fog - Meant Kawai - Not Samick

Last edited by pianocritic; 07/01/13 03:44 PM.

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#2111263 - 07/01/13 03:29 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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"...There is something odd about saying Tennessee Steinway, y'all. (WOW - New marketing angle: "Steinway - The Thoroughbred of Pianos")..."

I believe you are thinking of Kentucky, Marty--- if you're thinking of fine horseflesh.

The name that comes to mind for me, is Karen Hendricks. But let us hope that Steinway fares better under its new management than Baldwin did.


Clef

#2111265 - 07/01/13 03:38 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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The wording is all very genteel, but the link about Kohlbetg says "corporate raider" to me. Shake things up to extract the most cash, and then turf the company out to try to run as a going concern again, if it survives the operational shakeup and the cash extraction.


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#2111273 - 07/01/13 04:00 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private! [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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Might this parallel the Bain Capital/Guitar Center scenario?

In that case, Guitar Center, who had been taken private by Bain, was loaded up with so much debt that, while it is a reasonably profitable company it is unable to meet its debt obligations.


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#2111274 - 07/01/13 04:04 PM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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This may not be as bad as it initially seems. Kohlberg & Co. was founded by Jerome Kohlberg, one of the founders of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the giant leveraged-buyout equity firm. Mr. Kohlberg sold out of KKR in the late 1980s because he disagreed with KKR policies of heavily-leveraged buyouts of huge companies, and started Kohlberg & Co.

Worst case scenario - Kohlberg sells the Astoria and Hamburg factories, moves manufacturing to China, and turns Steinway into another Baldwin.

Best case scenario - Kohlberg shakes up the company without moving manufacturing out of the U.S. & Germany, restores it to profitability, and improves the quality of Steinway pianos.

#2111317 - 07/02/13 01:52 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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I find this news a little worrying. A piano company is not like a toaster company. It takes an amazing amount of finesse and care to produce a quality piano. People who don't know a lot about pianos can drastically underestimate how important all the little nit-picky details are when it comes to touch and tone. Kohlberg & Co seem oriented towards cutting costs, which sounds dangerous for a company like Steinway.

I view a piano factory as a really large piano with lots of intricate parts that have to be well-regulated to produce the desired result. There are so many places to go wrong!

Anyways, I'll keep my fingers crossed that this will be a positive chapter in the companies history.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
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#2111323 - 07/02/13 02:09 AM Re: Steinway Bought Out and Going Private [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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I've heard someone say this: "The company that bought Steinway follows the same business practices of Mitt Romney. They'll pillage the company for everything they can and then dump it."

How true do you think this is? Congrats to all you stock holders out there though. They are buying shares back at $35, which is around 16% higher than the stock price yesterday.


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