WALTHAM, MA - Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Kohlberg & Co., a private equity investment firm. The transaction, announced July 1, is valued at approximately $438 million.

Steinway designs and manufactures high-quality musical instruments for global distribution. According to the news release, outstanding shares of Steinway's common stock will be purchased for $35.00 per share in cash.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013. Upon completion, Steinway (NYSE: LVB) will become a privately-held company.

"Our agreement with Kohlberg represents an exceptional valuation for our shareholders, while also representing an important next step in the growth of Steinway," Chairman and interim CEO Michael Sweeney said in a statement. "We look forward to this partnership as we continue our mission of making the world's finest musical instruments without compromise."

Kohlberg Partner Christopher Anderson added, "We feel fortunate to be selected to partner with Steinway and further its commitment to serving its artists and customers worldwide by producing the finest pianos and musical instruments available. Kohlberg's long history of collaboration to grow and expand some of the world's leading consumer brands makes us an ideal partner for Steinway to accelerate its global expansion, while ensuring the artisanal manufacturing processes that make the company's products unique are preserved, celebrated and treasured."

Founded in 1853, the company is perhaps best known for Steinway & Sons pianos. Credited with the development of the modern piano, Steinway & Sons has had more than 150 patents granted on its products. Other musical instruments products by Steinway include: Bach Stradivarius trumpets, Selmer Paris saxophones, C.G. Conn French horns, Leblanc clarinets, King trombones and Ludwig snare drums.

Through its online music retailer, ArkivMusic, Steinway also produces and distributes classical music recordings. 

According to its 2012 Annual Report, Steinway employed 1,698 people as of Dec. 31. Of those,  1,183 were employed in the United States and the remaining 515 were employed primarily in Europe. In addition to its retail stores, Steinway has manufacturing plants located in New York, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina, as well as Germany and Poland.

In 2012, the company as a whole posted net sales of $353.7 million, up slightly from the previous year. According to the year-end report, $7 million was spent for capital improvements to its plants and facilities, including machinery, tooling and software. The annual report listed 2013 projected capital expenditures to be between $8 million and $10 million.

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