Henri SELMER Paris and Argos Soditic

PRESS RELEASE

The World Saxophone Leader, Henri SELMER Paris, Is in Exclusive Negotiation with Argos Soditic, For a Change in Ownership

France, Mantes-la-Ville and Paris - January 10th, 2018 – The shareholders of Henri SELMER Paris, a family-owned company founded in 1885, world leader in the manufacturing of high-end saxophones, and major player in clarinets and mouthpieces, have entered into exclusive negotiation for an equity investment by the growth- oriented private equity funds managed by Argos Soditic.

Upon completion of this transaction, Argos Soditic would become the majority shareholder alongside some family members, and the management team. Jérôme Selmer, Chief Executive Officer of Henri SELMER Paris, will lead this new phase of development. The employees, who carry the heritage of excellence of the brand, would also have the possibility to invest in the company’s shares.

Argos Soditic will carry out the investment without raising debt. Henri SELMER Paris will thus keep all its flexibility to invest in new projects and continue to serve the finest international instrumentalists, as well as enthusiastic amateurs.

Sustain and develop the company

This transaction is initiated and supported by the 55 shareholders representing the 4th and 5th generation of the Selmer family, all of them being descendants of Henri Selmer, the company’s founder.

Jérôme Selmer, the founder’s great-grandson who joined the company in 1982 and has held several positions including 25 years as head of research and development, was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2017 and highlights that « with Argos Soditic, we will be stronger and more agile to further strengthen our leadership position. Our aim is to continue our transformation and growth, with our skilled employees and distributors, in order to meet the expectations of a growing and international customer base. »

Brigitte Selmer, Chief Executive Officer 2010 to 2017, who represents the interests of the family shareholders, added that « our choice to enter exclusive negotiation with Argos Soditic is driven by our wish to have a powerful and trustworthy shareholder, who will continue to expand the Henri SELMER Paris brand worldwide. Argos Soditic is committed to developing the production of our outstanding instruments, coming from a high-end handicraft, and has the capacity to finance new development projects. »

Louis Godron, partner at Argos Soditic, said: « It is a great honour for us to be in exclusive negotiation with Henri SELMER Paris, an iconic brand in the field of music, which benefits from a “Made in France” know-how and from a world-class reputation. We are convinced of the growth potential of this manufacturing company in the context of reinforced competition on international markets. »

A unique manufacturing know-how

In its 11.000 square meter facility in Mantes-la-Ville in the Paris area, Henri SELMER Paris manufactures high-end saxophones, clarinets and mouthpieces which require highly skilled labour with more than 100 manufacturing specialities. A saxophone is made of more than 700 pieces, and requires more than 2,000 operations to be manufactured, from the special copper-alloy plate to the finished instrument.

This handicraft know-how, traditional and unique, coupled with the capacity of innovation and the use of cutting-edge technologies (and several millions USD invested in R&D every year) are the backbone of the world-class reputation of Selmer instruments, whose sound is recognized by experienced musicians.

Distinguished musicians such as Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Stan Getz played « Selmer » and their current successors continue to favour these outstanding instruments, alongside passionate amateurs such as former President of the United States Bill Clinton who brought a « Selmer » into the White House.

With its new range of high-quality clarinets, Henri SELMER Paris will intensify its efforts to grow vigorously in this segment.

In 2014, a new brand for saxophones and clarinets named SeleS has been launched to enlarge the customer base, in particular towards non-professional musicians, students at conservatories of music and music teachers.

A very strong international footprint

Henri SELMER Paris employs 500 people and had USD 40 million of revenues in 2017.

Henri SELMER Paris is present in more than 60 countries, with only 13% of sales in its home country; it sells to a variety of distributors and merchants directly in touch with musicians. Half of sales are in Asia, with strong positions in Japan and in China where the company benefits from the development of this market.

Press Contact Antoinette Darpy – toBnext Communication Agency + 33 (0)6 72 95 07 92 – adarpy@tobnext.com

About Henri SELMER Paris
Manufacturer of clarinets at its foundation in 1885, Henri SELMER Paris launched the production of saxophones as early as 1921, before taking over the workshop of Adolphe Sax in 1929, thus becoming the universal legatee of the invention of the saxophone. Henri SELMER Paris is today the global leader in the manufacture of high-end saxophones and a major player in clarinets and mouthpieces. Its instruments benefit from a prestigious brand all around the world. The most talented musicians play “Selmer” (Saxophone: Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Branford Marsalis, Claude Delangle…; Clarinet: Alessandro Carbonare, Philippe Berrod…). 


About Argos Soditic
Argos Soditic is an independent private-equity group with offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Milan and Paris. Since its creation in 1989, the group has invested in more than 70 mid-sized companies (Enterprise Value ranging from 25 to 200 million euros). Its majority ownership investments range between 10 and 100 million euros. With 1.1 billion USD under management, the group develops a unique investment strategy on complex transactions focused on transformation and growth as opposed to leverage. Its entrepreneurial approach is characterized by close proximity with the management teams and by a strong support to implement their strategic projects.

Video presentation  of the new brand SeleS www.seles.fr
Henri SELMER Paris launches a new brand SeleS to complete its range of musical instruments, respecting the values held by the SELMER family since the creation of the company in 1885.
 
Since the beginning, the production of Henri SELMER Paris instruments has taken place at their factory in Mantes-la-Ville, France, using world-renowned know-how, their production is unique and authentic as much for the quality of their design as for their respect for the traditional craft of instrument manufacturing.

To respond to the ever-changing needs of musicians, Henri SELMER Paris now offers, with its brand SeleS, a range of instruments adapted to various budgets.

To do this, Henri SELMER Paris has met numerous challenges through its investment in research and development, which has allowed the company to streamline their manufacturing process and to standardize certain procedures. The company has also invested in new manufacturing tools in order to optimize production time. Furthermore, external industrial collaborations enable Henri SELMER Paris to offer a larger range of instruments.

In order to perpetuate their history and tradition, instruments destined for exceptional use continue to be wholly manufactured using our longstanding instrumentmanufacturing traditions in our factory in Mantes-la-Ville, under the brand Henri SELMER Paris. Instruments made using the most recent technological and industrial innovations appear under the brand SeleS, created for this occasion by the Selmer family.

Selmer Paris today

A FRENCH, FAMILY OWNED COMPANY 125 years of experience, following the opening of Henri SELMER's first workshop in Paris.  The first french wind instruments manufacturer. The worldwide leader for professional saxophone. A universally recognized brandname and presence. A broad base of activity, distributed over three product categories:                                   saxophones
                                  clarinets                  
                                  mouthpieces.

A 100% FRENCH MADE PRODUCTION, TOTALLY INTEGRATED
20.000 square meters of production facilities, based in Mantes-la-Ville (France), the cradle of wind instruments manufacturing. A team of 600 people, with strong experience and know-how. One of the major employers in the Mantes region utilising a wide diversity of skills. An annual production of 22.000 professional instruments (woodwinds and brass) and more than 100.000 mouthpieces for clarinet and saxophone. A highly efficient and up to date manufacturing process, for a balanced mix of cutting edge technology with individual craftmanship. A strong export activity (80% of total production). An environmentally respectful strategy.

AN ACTIVE RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Besides the musical profile of the company's founder, the willingness to continually innovate has undoubtedly been the main factor in Selmer Paris' historical success. This drive has contributed to make the company one of the major leaders in wind instrument development in the 20th century. Today more than ever, we adhere to the same philosophy, guaranteeing the credibility and the influence of our brandname.
 
The solid link with the musical world and high level collaborations with many artists combine to place the musician at the very heart of our research organization. A specialized team, precise technical approach and state-of-the-art production techniques provide strong and ongoing support within this dynamic.
Though wind instruments undergo relatively slow evolution, there are still many parameters open for development : acoustics (sound, tuning, emission etc.), ergonomics (keywork, weight and mechanical performance) as well as aesthetics (design and finishing) include some of the fields being refined.

A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MUSICAL WORLD
As a wind instruments manufacturer, Selmer Paris tasks itself with a true artistic mission and is able to play a major role within the musical world :
support for artists participation in and support of musical events  (concerts, festivals, symposiums etc.) support for the repertoire : commissioned pieces, recordings activities encouraging the development of instrument playing amongst youth "Concerts à la Fontaine" in the concert room of Selmer Paris

SAXOPHONE : THE UNIVERSAL REFERENCE

The SELMER Paris name is indelibly linked to that of the saxophone, which represents more than half of Selmer's total activity.
From the release of the very first saxophone (Modèle 22) in December 1921, every new model since has showcased the innovative capabilities of the company - from Cigar Cutter to Super Action, Balanced Action, Mark VI and through to more recent releases.
The greatest names in jazz, classical and contemporary saxophone, from John Coltrane and Marcel Mule to Kenny Garrett and Claude Delangle, have all contributed to the enrichment of the Selmer saxophone.
Thanks to its long experience over the years as a wind instruments manufacturer and deep knowledge of the saxophone world, Selmer Paris has become the reference point and sets the standard for today's saxophone sound.

CLARINET : THE FOUNDING INSTRUMENT

The clarinet was the first instrument ever designed by the founder of the company, Henri Selmer.
Ever since, Selmer Paris has developed strong relations with generations of clarinet players, from differing cultures and levels. Thanks to this experience the company is now working on the entire clarinet family (from Eb clarinet to Bb contrabass) and is able to offer each artist an original proposition, adapted to their personality and taste.
This woodwind expertise has also led Selmer Paris to the development of bassoon manufacturing, of which it is a fervent proponent.

MOUTHPIECES : WORLDWIDE LEADERSHIP

The manufacturing of mouthpieces was the very first Selmer Paris venture.
Perfect knowledge of the acoustics of the instrument is a precondition to the design of a good mouthpiece. The Selmer Paris experience in that field, today, makes it an even more credible mouthpiece maker. This is undoubtedly why the brand has acquired a leading position on the mouthpiece market.
The mouthpiece is a decisive accessory for every player. The Selmer Paris range offers a wide choice of openings and table lengths so that everyone can obtain an optimized result, according to his or her morphological features and musical preferences.

SELMER Paris, "Living Heritage Company"

SELMER Paris has been labeled "Living Heritage Company" for its craftsmanship and industry. 

WARRANTY CONDITIONS

Henri SELMER Paris Warranty & Maintenance book SeleS Warranty & Maintenance book
All our instruments are covered by a two-year warranty, from date of purchase, for any defects in workmanship.

The original invoice should be produced for the warranty to be valid. 

Warranty does not cover accidental damage, misuse, negligence, improper maintenance nor modifications. 

There will be no refund nor exchange of the instrument under warranty.


The two-year warranty is valid only if repairs and maintenance are carried out by an authorized Henri SELMER Paris dealer or technician.