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Buffet Group Acquires B&S GmbH, the German Leading Brass Music Instruments Manufacturer

United States
Nine months after its acquisition by Fondations Capital, Buffet Group completes a strategic acquisition in Germany.

Paris, December 6th 2012 -- Buffet Group has completed the acquisition of B&S GmbH, a German family-controlled company which is the leading German brass music instruments manufacturer. The enterprise value of B&S GmbH equals to €10 million, which represents 6.8 times 2012 estimated EBITDA.

Founded 250 years ago, B&S GmbH is one of the only two music instrument manufacturers worldwide producing the whole range of brass instruments. It has four old established brands commanding very high recognition amongst musicians: B&S, Melton Meinl Weston, Hans Hoyer and Scherzer. B&S GmbH is the number one manufacturer in the world of high end background brass instruments, i.e. tubas, euphonia and also one of the largest producers of French horns. B&S GmbH production facility is located in the same place as Buffet Group’s German operations in Markneukirchen, Saxony. 2012 estimated revenues amount to €15 million.

Following this acquisition, Buffet Group’s product portfolio has significantly increased its brass instruments product line alongside wood products. Also, it strengthens its market presence in Germany and Austria, the largest European music instrument markets. B&S products are now sold through Buffet Group’s own international distribution network.

Buffet Group now accounts 750 employees, half of which are located in Germany.

Consideration paid to the selling shareholders of B&S GmbH is made of a mix of cash and newly issued Buffet Group’s shares. Upon the occasion of this acquisition, COGEPA, the family office of the Duval-Fleury and Corneau families, has become shareholder of Buffet Group through the subscription of new shares. Following these operations, Fondations Capital owns 80% of the share capital of Buffet Group.

Gerhard Meinl, the main shareholder and former CEO of B&S GmbH, has joined the supervisory board of Buffet Group to which he will act as a non executive senior advisor. Gerhard Meinl has reinvested his proceeds from the sale into Buffet Group newly issued shares.

Xavier Marin, CEO of Fondations Capital, declared: “This acquisition, executed nine months after Fondations Capital’s investment in Buffet Group, is a major step to consolidate Buffet Group’s market leadership while maintaining the reputation of excellence of its music instruments. Also, Buffet Group is transforming itself into a truly European company with Germany now accounting for half of Buffet Group’s workforce. We are delighted to welcome Gerhard Meinl on Buffet Group’s supervisory board with his outstanding knowledge of the music industry. He represents the seventh family generation of know-how of the company.”

Antoine Beaussant, CEO of Buffet Group, declared: “The acquisition of B&S strengthens Buffet Group’s position as the global reference in wind instruments. It will bring into our Group a 250 year expertise in brass instrument manufacturing, highly regarded know-how and talents as well as the worldwide reputation for excellence of its brands. B&S is our fifth acquisition in the past four years and we are very proud to continue to write our “Rhapsody for talents” with four more brands.”

Isabelle Ginestet-Naudin, DGD of CDC Entreprises, declared: “This operation, which is the second acquisition in Germany since our first investment in Buffet Group in 2010, confirms the growth potential of the company. We are delighted to take part in the emergence of a world class leader in the music instrument industry”. FCPR Patrimoine et Création 2, managed by CDC Entreprises, is a shareholder of Buffet Group.

Created in 1825 in Paris, Buffet Crampon is a leading musical instruments manufacturer and the world’s leading producer of professional clarinets. Through its five brands, Buffet Crampon established in 1825, Antoine Courtois created in 1809, Besson founded in 1837, J Keilwerth and W Schreiber, the Group is present in the woodwind segment (clarinets, bass clarinets, oboes, bassoons, saxophones) and brass segment (tubas, euphoniums, saxhorns, trumpets, cornets, tenor horns, bugles, trombones). Benefitting from a global distribution network and subsidiaries in the United States, Japan, Germany and China, export sales account for more than 93% of the Group’s revenues. The Group carried out several acquisitions in recent years: Besson in 2006, Antoine Courtois in 2007, the Leblanc clarinet plant in 2008 and Schreiber in 2010.

With ca. 300 million euro under management, Fondations Capital is an independent private equity firm which invests in mid-size French companies. Acting as a responsible and committed investor, Fondations Capital is dedicated to create value through growth and innovation leveraging on the strengths and know-how of its portfolio companies. Fondations Capital is currently the controlling shareholder of Alkern (€146 million revenues, 690 employees), the largest independent producer of concrete products in the French and Belgian markets, Courtepaille (€283 million revenues, 3,700 employees), the second largest player in the French casual dining market, Buffet Group (€80 million revenues, 750 employees), the second largest wind instrument producer and distributor in the world and Sepur (€148 million, 2,000 employees), the second largest municipal waste collection and urban cleaning operator in the greater Paris region.
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