Unsolicited Proposal for Steinway Band Business; Company Announces New Chairman
Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. announced that chairman Kyle Kirkland, CEO Dana Messina, Conn-Selmer president John Stoner, and certain members of management made an unsolicited proposal to acquire the Company’s band instrument and online music divisions. In connection with the proposal, Kirkland has agreed to step down as the Company’s chairman, a position he has held since 1995.
The board has appointed a Special Committee to consider this proposal and strategic alternatives. In addition, the board has appointed Michael Sweeney, one of the Company’s independent directors, to the position of chairman. Sweeney is currently chairman of the board of Star Tribune Media Holdings and previously served as the president of Starbucks Coffee Company (UK) Ltd.
“First, it was a profound honor for me to serve as chairman of the Company for so many years. Dana Messina and I have always felt that it was our duty to maintain the integrity of this American icon, and I believe we have been successful despite many economic and competitive challenges,” stated Kirkland. “Second, although it was a difficult decision for me to step down, we felt it was appropriate to have an independent director lead the board through the process of evaluating offers for company assets. Finally, I am looking forward to continuing as an active member of the board and will serve the interests of all our stakeholders with the same respect for our people and brands that I’ve always had.”
In connection with Kirkland’s departure as chairman, the Company will recognize a severance charge of $1.1 million. Details of the management offer for the band and online music businesses have not been disclosed. There can be no assurance that any potential purchaser or the Company will enter into a definitive agreement for any transaction or that any transaction will be completed.