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· Registered
70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Steinway to buy Leblanc

I haven't seen this posted here yet, and since this effects several brands (yanagisawa and Selmer Paris stood out to me) I'm posing it here. (mods, move it if it fits better somewhere else please, or if it's posted somewhere else :wink: )

My bro found this on some Tuba-Euphonium forums (as he plays the euph he's not one of our members :x ):
(not sure where the original poster got this article)
copy pasted:

Steinway to buy G. Leblanc for $36 million
Steinway Musical Instruments Inc. said Thursday that it has agreed to buy G. Leblanc Corp., a musical instrument manufacturer in Kenosha, for about $36 million.

Leblanc is a manufacturer of high quality band instruments and sells products under the Leblanc, Noblet, Vito, Holton, Martin and Yanagisawa brand names. Leblanc expects to generate revenue of $28 million for 2004.

In a statement, Leblanc chairman and chief executive officer Leon Pascucci said G. Leblanc will maintain operations in Kenosha.

"The business has been in my family for nearly 60 years, so my primary concern was to ensure its continuation," he said. "I'm thrilled that Leblanc will become part of a company with the reputation of Steinway Musical Instruments."

The announcement comes just weeks after the company said it will close one of its two plants in Kenosha later this summer, resulting in the loss of 67 jobs. Leblanc plans to halt production at 9009 Sheridan Road by Aug. 27, according to a notice filed with the state Department of Workforce Development.

Leblanc operates a second plant at its headquarters in Kenosha, 7001 Leblanc Blvd., where it has about 160 employees. The company also has a factory in Elkhorn with about 75 employees. About 40 employees work at Leblanc's other remaining plant, located in La Couture-Boussey, France.

Waltham, Mass.-based Steinway, famous for its pianos, is one of the world's largest manufacturers of musical instruments. Its notable products include Steinway & Sons pianos, Bach Stradivarius trumpets, Selmer Paris saxophones, C.G. Conn French horns, King trombones, and Ludwig snare drums. Leblanc will be operated as part of Steinway's Conn-Selmer band instrument division.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and purchase price adjustments, is expected to close in the third quarter.
So, does it sound like Yanas will disappear? Think they will keep any of the yana's designs or drop them into a student horn line :?
While I'm pondering.. so is it gonna be the "top 3" now?
I didn't even know Yanagisawa was owned by Leblanc.. Maybe I'm just misreading it

· Distinguished SOTW Member and Forum Contributor
4,359 Posts
Leblanc distributes Yanagisawa in the USA. They do not own them. I assume Leblanc in France is a different company, but don't know for sure.

· Distinguished SOTW Member
1,334 Posts
when Leon Leblanc died a couple of yrs ago(btw, he made it to 100+) i read something to the effect that Vito P. of Leblanc USA bought the French Leblanc company, intending to keep it somewhat intact(Leon did not have any kids to pass it along to).

Vito P. died last year or so, and his son took over the biz.

Interesting(no surprise to me) that the 'kid' peddles the biz in a flash to Steinway(actually, Selmer USA, as Selmer had purchased Steinway a few years ago and named the whole company Steinway, as it had the most recognizable name).
Anyway, history is full of examples(of which this is one) in which the 2nd or 3rd generation sells out the biz and takes the money and runs.
The press announcement -may- 'say' that they are gonna keep the company intact, but we'll see how that turns can bet that Steinway did -not- buy Leblanc just to let it rot, they bought it to make money and remove competition from the marketplace. In the corporate world that usually means 'consolidation'(read, plant closings & layoffs), along with 'efficiency enhancements'(read more layoffs).

We're kinda at the point now where you've got the Asians on the low end(with some hi end from Yani/Yahama,etc), the French, with relatively small numbers, but highest reputation, and the US(which means Steinway/Selmer) covering everything else.

I'm waiting for a 'Leblanc USA' saxophone my self :)

· Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
21,507 Posts
I have sold various lines that are now owned by Steinway and for the most part, the product lines have lost many special models and the quality is not as the product(s) were when the companies were seperate. Where it does improve things is in the marketing whereby financing and promotion is better for the dealers. Example: Bueschers are now built in Asia and the marketing is aimed for price and not traditional quality.
Leblanc can survive, but as soon as it is folded into the Selmer pan, it will just become another badge. It is sad that many old lines are not what they were 50 or even 10 years ago. Today's marketing wants to put dresses on pigs.

· Registered
459 Posts
On one hand, 36 million is a significant amount of money. On the other, this sale will probably make Leon Leblanc and Vito P. turn in their graves. The company that they established is now being sold to the giants of Music. I completely agree that the Bueschers, Conns, Kings, and other excellent saxophones manufactures have now gone through the drain after they were bought out by Selmer. LeBlanc make really decent clarinets, but only time would tell on what this brand will become. But keep in mind that G. Leblanc is also a distributer. The Steinway company will be a complete monopoly, the "Microsoft" of the music industry. I would love to see how this thing would unfold to.

· Distinguished SOTW Member
2,292 Posts
I like Leblanc clarinets and own a couple. But they lost my loyalty when they dropped the venerable LL from their line. Now it's no longer possible to buy a (new) Leblanc with full Boehm keywork. The LL was used for the special mechanism horns.

· Registered
1,641 Posts
So the Steinway machine has started theconsumption of another competitor.

Steinway (Parent company of Conn-Selmer, Inc) has come to a purchase agreement for G. Leblanc (Vito, Martin, Holton, LeBlanc & USA Distributor of Yanagisawa). Official statement from Leblanc can be found at

So this means that Selmer Paris and Yanagisawa Japan saxes will both be distributed by Conn-Selmer in the near future. This company now will contain all of the following brand names:

Selmer Paris
Prima Sankyo
Scherl & Roth

and probably a few more that I cant think of. Ought to be interesting dont ya think?

· Registered
1,641 Posts
Follow-Up on Conn-Selmer/Leblanc buyout...

Confirmed yesterday that the buyout of G Leblanc by Conn-Selmer, Inc is now complete.

Conn-Selmer WILL retain the distribution of Yanagisawa saxophones. I think that is a smart move buy both parties. Conn-Selmer needed good saxophones in the Yani price range. And Yanagisawa, in my opinion, has a MUCH better distributor now in Conn-Selmer then they ever had in Leblanc.

Maybe we will see Yani stenciled horns under the Conn name? That would be interesting! :)
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