Steinway Instruments takes down 'for sale' sign

NEW YORK Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:22am IST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Steinway Musical Instruments Inc LVB.N, the famous manufacturer of pianos, saxophones and trumpets, said on Wednesday it had decided not to sell itself following a 17-month-long exploration of strategic alternatives.

Steinway said in a statement that it had received several nonbinding indications of interest in buying the company, after talks with other companies in the sector and private equity, but they did not offer more value than its own strategic plan.

"We will continue to focus management's efforts on execution of that plan and we look forward to a prosperous 2013," Steinway CEO Michael Sweeney said.

An in-principle agreement to sell its band instrument division to an investor group led by two of its board members, Dana Messina and John Stoner, was also scrapped in light of the current operating performance of the band division, Steinway said.

In July 2011, Steinway asked investment bank Allen & Company LLC to a assist a special committee of its board on exploring strategic alternatives after it received an unsolicited proposal to be acquired.

Steinway said on Wednesday that it was continuing a separate process to sell its leasehold interest in New York's Steinway Hall building situated on Manhattan's 57th Street. According to its website, Steinway & Sons, the company's piano unit, opened the first Steinway Hall on 14th Street in Manhattan in 1866.

With a main auditorium of 2,000 seats, it became New York City's artistic and cultural center, housing the New York Philharmonic until Carnegie Hall opened in 1891.

The company's pianos have been used by legendary artists like Cole Porter and Sergei Rachmaninoff and by contemporary ones like Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by M.D. Golan)