Kohlberg Withdraws From Steinway Purchase, Citing New Offer

Private-equity firm Kohlberg & Co. said it waived the right to negotiate with Steinway Musical Instruments Inc.’s board after the 160-year-old piano maker received a superior offer from an unidentified bidder.

Kohlberg has withdrawn “with respect to the new proposal and any other proposal at the same or higher price than the new proposal,” according to a company filing today.

The new offer of $38 a share in cash would value the company at $475 million and is higher than Kohlberg’s $35-a-share bid. It came from an affiliate of an investment firm with more than $15 billion under management, Waltham, Massachusetts-based Steinway said yesterday in a statement, without naming the bidder.

Kohlberg’s offer, disclosed last month, would have valued the maker of grand pianos at about $438 million. The agreement included a 45-day period where Steinway could solicit alternative proposals.

Steinway fell 3 percent to $38.41 at 9:42 a.m. in New York. The shares had gained 87 percent this year through yesterday.

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