Boosey buys US shareholder

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The Independent Online
BOOSEY & Hawkes, the British music publisher and instrument maker, yesterday removed a threat to its independence by buying Carl Fisher, its 38.4 per cent shareholder.

Musicians had feared for the group since Carl Fisher, a US publisher, put itself up for sale 12 months ago.

A sale would have included the stake in Boosey & Hawkes, threatening the company's independence. In the last year, speculation has run high that the company would be bought by a US firm - or by EMI.

Peter Austen, finance director, said: "We are delighted we have achieved this. It's been a difficult 12 months and it hasn't been good for the business. Inevitably there is some management distraction when this is hanging over your head. But we're really pleased."

The $55m (pounds 33m) rescue was arranged by setting up a new company, Boosey & Hawkes Group, and placing 6.5 million new shares with the company's other shareholders. The shareholders were persuaded to buy Carl Fisher.

Mr Austen said the group would stick with its strategy of expanding by acquisition.

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