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Paulson Said to Have Bumped Steinway Bid to Trump Rival Samick

Paulson & Co. raised its offer for Steinway Musical Instruments Inc. after the 160-year-old piano maker got a competing bid from South Korea’s Samick Musical Instruments Co., said three people familiar with the process.

Samick bid $39 a share for Waltham, Massachusetts-based Steinway, prompting hedge-fund firm Paulson to go to $40, or about $512 million, according to one person, who asked not to be named because the deliberations were private. Steinway, which had previously agreed to be taken over by Kohlberg & Co., announced today that it would accept the Paulson bid.

Kohlberg withdrew its $35-a-share offer this week after Steinway, led by Chief Executive Officer Michael Sweeney, announced that another investment firm had made a bid at $38. That firm was later identified as Paulson & Co., run by billionaire John Paulson.

A representative at Samick didn’t immediately return a call outside regular business hours. Officials at Paulson and Steinway didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

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