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Yamaha to Purchase Bösendorfer

Yamaha Corp. agreed to purchase 100 percent of the shares of Bösendorfer Klavierfabrik from Austrian bank BAWAG P.S.K. Group on Dec. 20. Bösendorfer, a premium piano manufacturer, is based in Vienna, Austria.

According to a statement from Yamaha, BAWAG had indicated an intention of making the shares available to potential acquirers through off-market bidding. Several companies expressed interest, but Yamaha was selected for financial negotiations on Nov. 28 and, subsequently, reached an agreement. The actual transfer of shares is expected in early 2008. The statement said Yamaha plans to continue manufacturing at Bösendorfer’s Austrian facilities and developing the brand.

Bösendorfer was founded in 1828. After becoming a subsidiary of Kimball Piano and Organ in 1966, the piano maker was acquired in 2002 by the BAWAG.

“Yamaha constitutes a competent and strong strategic investor for [Bösendorfer] that will undertake every effort to support the Bösendorfer [brand], regarding distribution, optimization of the production and development of product innovations,” said Alfred Zellinger, managing director of Bösendorfer.

“The piano manufacturer Bösendorfer is a special company,” said Ewald Nowotny, CEO of BAWAG. “Therefore I am very pleased that with Yamaha a strategic owner could be found which is able to support the financial development of Bösendorfer and will continue the cultural heritage. The guarantee issued by Yamaha to maintain the headquarters and production in Austria clearly indicates that we did also consider the interests of the staff in the sale and that, overall, a very good solution could be achieved.”;