Rutland Fund Management, the UK private equity firm that looks to make acquisitions of underperforming retail businesses, is planning to bid up to £40m for the instruments manufacturing division of Boosey & Hawkes.
Boosey & Hawkes originally sought offers for its instruments and publishing business at the beginning of 2002, when financial buyers Close Brothers Private Equity and 3i were linked to the business. However the February deadline passed without a deal being agreed.
The Financial Times reports that the instruments division could be worth up to £40m although profits at B&H have dropped to £7.1m. The company put itself up for auction in October 2001 following its rejection of a 220p per share indicative offer for Boosey's publishing and instrument divisions from Graphite Capital and Music Sales, a London-based publishing company.
Rutland has made four investments from its Rutland Fund since closing the fund at £210m last year. Investments include Wolstenholme, a manufacturer of pigments and coatings for the print and plastics industries; Openshaw, which distributes print supplies in the UK; and Edinburgh Woollen Mill, a UK clothing retailer for which it paid £49m in July last year.
The sale of the instruments division will precede the sale of the remainder of Boosey's businesses, including the publishing arm that owns the rights to music by classical composers such as Benjamin Britten.
The Rutland Fund looks to make investments of between £15-40m in underperforming companies. Rutland Trust has a £100m total commitment to the Rutland Fund. An additional £110m has been committed by third party investors.
Rutland Fund Management was unavailable for comment.