HgCapital triumphs in Boosey battle

European Acquisition Capital and Stirling Square have let their joint offer for Boosey & Hawkes lapse, giving victory to HgCapital for the listed music publisher.

European mid-market private equity firm HgCapital has won the race to acquire UK-listed music publisher Boosey & Hawkes after a consortium of Stirling Square and European Acquisition Capital decided against making an improved offer for the business.

At the beginning of September, Stirling Square and European Acquisition Capital, bidding via the Regent Street Music acquisition vehicle, made an offer of 195 pence per share, valuing the business at just over £40m. A month later, the offer was trumped by Classic Copyright, the bidding vehicle of HgCapital, which offered 215 pence per share, equivalent to £44.3m.


In a statement this morning, Regent said it had “concluded that the price offered by Classic Copyright is in excess of the price which Regent is prepared to offer… Accordingly, [Regent] has decided to lapse its Offers with immediate effect.”


HgCapital has put together a finance package worth £84m which includes £46m of senior debt facilities provided by Barclays bank. HgCapital is investing £38m of equity. HgCapital described Boosey as “an attractive business”, which it says will benefit from private ownership “enabling it to focus on its core business activities and providing it with access to capital for both organic and acquisition based growth.”


Boosey & Hawkes is one of the largest specialist classical music publishing companies in the world and owns a catalogue of music copyrights including composers such as Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Britten, Copland, Richard Strauss, Bartók and Prokofiev.


In February 2003, Boosey & Hawkes sold its instrument division to Rutland Fund Management in a deal worth £33.2m. In the year ended 31 December 2002,  the firm reported sales from continuing operations of £26m (2001: £24.7m like-for-like) with an operating profit from  these operations, excluding exceptional items, of £1.2m (2001: operating profit £1.5m).