Pearl River Piano now calling the tunes at Schimmel
Updated: 2016-05-19 08:30
By Li Wenfang and Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou(China Daily USA)
Guangzhou Pearl River Piano Co Ltd completed the purchase of Germany's largest and most famous piano maker Schimmel on Wednesday, accelerating what officials called its strategic development at home and abroad.
The Shenzhen Stock Exchange listed company now holds 90 percent of the shares in Schimmel-Verwaltungs GmbH, valued at 23.99 million euro ($27.1 million), it said in a statement.
Li Jianning, Pearl River Piano's vice-chairman and general manager, said the purchase will ensure Schimmel can continue to be independent, and continue to manufacture some of the world's highest quality pianos.
Yang Weihua, secretary of its board of directors, added the purchase will also help raise his own products to a higher level.
After more than 130 years in business, Schimmel is also Europe's largest piano maker.
"Compared with major piano manufacturers, our brand still has to be lifted onto the world stage, although our products are already exported to more than 180 nations and regions," Yang said.
"Pearl River Piano will use Schimmel's advanced production technologies and brand to further develop its European and North American markets, while sparing no effort to expand Schimmel's domestic sales, using its domestic sales network," Yang added..
The German piano maker builds its instruments at two factories in Germany and Poland, and those operations will be unaffected by the acquisition, the statement insisted.
Schimmel sells around 2,200 pianos annually worldwide, giving it a 10 percent global share.
The statement said it has huge potential to expand its presence in the mainland.
Pearl River Piano celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and is believed to be the world's largest manufacturer, selling 131,590 of the 135,432 pianos it produced last year.
It claims to have produced 35 percent of China's pianos and a quarter of the world's, after selling more than 2 million in its lifetime.
China produced 370,900 pianos in 2015, 70 percent of the world's total. Some 30,600 domestically built pianos were exported, while 147,500 were imported, an 11.7 percent rise on 2014.
Zhu Wenyu, chairman of Shanghai Best Friend Music Culture Co Ltd, China's largest domestic piano retailer, said the local market has grown substantially in the past three decades.
"In the late 1980s, we would celebrate if we sold one piano a month, and that number increased to around 10 by early 1990s.