Boosey tunes up for refinancing round

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The Independent Online

Boosey & Hawkes, the private equity-backed classical music publisher, has begun talks with its banks about a refinancing after a 73 per cent increase in profits in the past two years.

Boosey & Hawkes, the private equity-backed classical music publisher, has begun talks with its banks about a refinancing after a 73 per cent increase in profits in the past two years.

The company, which has sold off its loss-making musical instruments business, is now focusing purely on exploiting its large catalogue of classical music rights that include the estates of Rachmaninov, Stravinsky and Prokofiev.

The company, led by John Minch, the chief executive, is also developing symphonic productions of popular musicals. It persuaded the English National Opera to stage Leonard Bernstein's On The Town, which has opened at the Coliseum, and has begun talks with two music majors, Warner Music and Universal, to exploit their back catalogues of musicals. It also has the rights to Aaron Copland, the popular American composer.

Boosey & Hawkes was taken off the stock market in October 2003 when it was bought by HgCapital, which paid £44.3m and assumed £31.1m of debt. Since then the company's earnings have risen from £3m in 2003 to £5.2m last year.

Mr Minch said the refinancing was being undertaken from a position of strength. The main banks involved are Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland.

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