The Amsterdam concert hall that hosted artists and conductors including Maria Callas and Gustav Mahler plans to sell shares for the second time in 129 years to fund the building’s maintenance and music education.
“This jubilee issue is a historic milestone in Het Concertgebouw’s history,” Het Concertgebouw NV Supervisory Board Chairman Alexander Rinnooy Kan said in an e-mailed statement. “It fits within the tradition of private financing the institution, a tradition we’re proud of.”
The concert hall opened its doors for the first time in 1888, resulting in a nearby traffic jam of 421 carriages, after a share sale by Het Concertgebouw, a private initiative, six years earlier, according to a brochure that accompanies the share sale. Nowadays, 700,000 people visit the venue designed by Dolf Van Gendt every year to listen to about 750 concerts.
“Music does something to you,” the brochure said. “We want children and youth with different social, cultural and economic backgrounds to experience that.”
The concert hall plans to raise as much as 25 million euros ($35 million) by selling as many as 2,000 certificates of shares for 250 euros each, the prospectus said. Possible buyers are only qualified to purchase equities if they’ve committed to a 12,250 euro tax deductible donation to a fund for each certificate they want to buy.
Het Concertgebouw hired a group of banks including ABN Amro Bank NV, Deutsche Bank Nederland NV, Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank BA, F. van Lanschot Bankiers NV and ING Bank NV to manage the offering.
The concert hall, where artists including Yehudi Menuhin, Janis Joplin and Igor Stravinsky performed, currently has 135 ordinary shareholders and 23 preference shareholders, according to the brochure.