Boosey & Hawkes shares rise on bid news

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The Independent Online

Shares in Boosey & Hawkes, the musical instruments maker, hit a high note yesterday after the company announced it had received a preliminary approach that could lead to an offer.

Shares in Boosey & Hawkes, the musical instruments maker, hit a high note yesterday after the company announced it had received a preliminary approach that could lead to an offer.

The shares, which had been languishing at 76p a few days ago, soared 48 per cent to close at 153.5p, valuing the company at £30m.

Boosey & Hawkes, which was founded more than 200 years ago, said the offer was subject to finance and was from a consortium that includes a financial buyer.

Speculation in the weekend press had suggested that Graphite Capital, the new name for F&C Ventures, might be interested along with the Music Sales Group, a music publishing company. Reports suggested a bid could be worth up to £50m.

Last month Boosey & Hawkes reported a halving of interim profits to £1.19m and scrapped its dividend. The company has been affected by the US downturn and is loaded down with debt.

Last year it was hit by accounting irregularities in its Chicago distribution business. It has sold some of its London properties and put its reed manufacturing division up for sale.

The company traces its beginnings to Boosey & Co, which was founded in the 1760s. It merged in 1930 with Hawkes & Son, founded in 1865.

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