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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Boosey & Hawkes in takeover talks
Benjamin Britten
Britten: One of the company's major British composers
Britain's biggest classical music publisher and instrument maker Boosey & Hawkes has reported a takeover approach from an un-named company.

The company has not identified the potential buyer, but said that it was in talks with a consortium, including a financial buyer.

Shares in the company jumped 50% in value on the news of a possible takeover.

Leonard Bernstein
Bernstein is best-known for composing the West Side story score
Recently, the company has worked hard at stabilising its operation, by rationalizing its flute manufacturing operation and selling one of its businesses.

But the group moved into the red for the six months of 2001, with losses of 1.6m - against last year's profit of 465,000.

The company has blamed a slump in demand for instruments following the economic slowdown in the US as well as having to make provision for overstated results at its US business, BHMI.

Boosey & Hawkes contains two distinct arms.

Copyrights

The instrument manufacturer includes the brands Besson, Buffet Crampon, Karl Hoefner, Rico International and W. Schreiber and Soehne.

The music publisher holds the copyrights to many of the best-known classical works of the 20th Century, including the catalogues of Elgar, Stravinsky, Britten, Bernstein, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

Boosey & Company's history goes back more than 200 years to the 1760s when John Boosey founded a music lending library in London.

Hawkes & Son was founded in 1865 by William Henry Hawkes and built an instrument factory in Edgware, north London, in 1925.

Though originally a rival to Boosey & Company, the two merged in 1930.

See also:

26 Aug 01 | Business
Profitability deserts UK firms
19 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Disney settles Fantasia claim
11 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Royalties deal 'threatens' composers
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