Private equity bidders for Boosey & Hawkes

3i and Close Brothers are understood to have tabled bids for the British music company.

Boosey & Hawkes has announced the closing deadline for bids for the musical instruments and publishing company. Three private equity firms, thought to include 3i and Close Brothers, have submitted bids for the company.

Bids were tabled to Deutsche Bank, Boosey & Hawkes’ bankers, prior to the 25 February auction deadline. A number of potential buyers from private equity houses, including Gresham Trust and Graphite Capital, opted not to make a bid for the struggling business as did trade buyers such as Steinway & Sons, the US piano maker.

The company put itself up for auction in October 2001 following a 220p per share indicative offer for Boosey's publishing and instrument divisions from Graphite Capital and Music Sales, a London-based publishing company.

Boosey made a loss of £14m in the year to 31 December 2000. The company’s share price on Friday 22 February was 181p, valuing the company at £37.2m. The company is estimated to have debts totalling £60m.