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Buffet Group acquires B&S GmbH

Less than a year after its acquisition by Fondations Capital, French Buffet Group completes a strategic acquisition by taking over German brass music instruments manufacturer B&S. Founded 250 years ago, B&S is one of the only two music instrument manufacturers worldwide producing the whole range of brass instruments. It has four old established brands commanding 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 quality background brass instruments, such as tubas, euphonia, and also is one of the largest producers of French horns. B&S's production facility is located in the same place as Buffet Group’s German operations in Markneukirchen, Saxony.
Following this acquisition, Buffet Group’s product portfolio has significantly increased its brass instruments product line alongside woodwind 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 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, Direction du Capital dévéloppement (Growth Captila) 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.”
 Gerhard Meinl and Antoine Beaussant
Gerhard Meinl and Antoine Beaussant
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