Schimmel Bankrupt?

Posted by: stein-wegge the Vth

Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/05/09 12:57 PM

I was reading a German news source claiming that Seiler and Schimmel were in trouble financially.
I have always loved the Schimmel and hope that this is not completely true.....any info from industry insiders?
Thanks
Posted by: stein-wegge the Vth

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/05/09 12:59 PM

Sorry I meant to post the source of this info.

http://www.thelocal.de/national/20090927-22187.html
Posted by: Robert 45

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/05/09 01:36 PM

Thank you, Greg. It is sad news indeed when piano makers of distinction like Schimmel and Seiler are reduced to this.

Piano makers depend on the sales of new pianos for their economic survival. The veritable deluge of cheaper and improving pianos from China has taken its toll on even the established European makers.

The gradual demise of these great European manufacturers is for some a crying shame, but for others an economic reality.

Kind regards,

Robert.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/05/09 02:25 PM

Seiler was purchased by Samick and, I believe left in tact.

Schimmel is, I believe, working their way out of bankruptcy.

So, all is not as bad as it seems.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/05/09 03:00 PM

I wonder how the current difficulties some manufacturers are facing compare with the problems Steinway has faced during various periods in their history. I don't remember the details because I read the book about Steinway's history a while ago(a terrific read), but as I recall they had quite a few periods where they almost didn't survive.
Posted by: Gregor

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/06/09 03:30 AM

Originally Posted By: stein-wegge the Vth
I was reading a German news source claiming that Seiler and Schimmel were in trouble financially.


Rönisch too:

http://www.nmz.de/kiz/nachrichten/tradit...et-insolvenz-an

Gregor
Posted by: Starting Over

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/06/09 07:34 AM

Schimmel's problems with sales volume were not helped by price increases over the past couple of years that moved them close to Steinway pricing (notwithstanding equally ill-advised Steinway price increases). The article says that Schimmel declared bankruptcy. Not sure exactly what that means in Germany but it probably just means that they don't have to pay their bills for a while, giving them the chance to "re-structure". Wishing them luck but I won't be buying one any time soon. Nice piano but over-priced, at least around here.
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/06/09 09:16 AM

Schimmel is one of my favourite brands but prices have rocketed in the UK over the past couple of years. They used to be great value and sat squarely inbetween the likes of Yamaha and the top German makes. On a recent trip to the UK main Schimmel dealer I noticed the K132 upright had a sticker price of £18000 (yes I did say upright!). That's similar money to a Bluthner B or a Bechstein concert 8. Discounts might make a big difference of course.
Posted by: AJB

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/06/09 11:09 AM

The emergence, or not as the case may be, of Schimmel from administration proceedings, will inevitably depend on there being a credibly successful business plan as well as a deal with creditors. The German / central European piano manufacturing sector appears to be saturated with surplus supply and hit by dramatically insufficient customers.

Schimmel have pretty much priced themselves out of the market in the UK and elsewhere. One wonders if they have fallen into the often encountered accountancy led trap of putting up prices in a vain attempt to compensate for falling sales, hence strategically hastening their own demise.
Posted by: Starting Over

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/06/09 11:13 AM

Originally Posted By: AJB


Schimmel have pretty much priced themselves out of the market in the UK and elsewhere. One wonders if they have fallen into the often encountered accountancy led trap of putting up prices in a vain attempt to compensate for falling sales, hence strategically hastening their own demise.




I think that pretty much sums it up...
Posted by: Ori

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/06/09 01:17 PM

While some piano makers in Germany are suffering, others are using their resources to gain strength, and hope to emerge in better position at the end of this economic downturn.

In the article, Mr. Stein is quoted as saying that: 'The firm Leipziger Pianoforte has had to halt production completely'.

This was indeed true, however, to provide Mr. Stein with news he may not be aware of, the 'Lipziger Piano Fabric', who made both Ronish and another less known line of pianos, Hupfeld, was recently purchased by Bluthner, and actually resumed production under the new ownership.

Bluthner's purchase of this company demonstrates the opportunities that some of the stronger piano makers in Germany have these days.


To clarify further, 'the National Piano Makers Association of Germany (BK)', have a rotating chairman each year from amongst the 12 more known piano makers.
This year, it is Grotrian's Burkhard Stein's turn. Nest year, it will be someone else’s turn.

As the rotating head of the BK, Mr. Stein would be the logical candidate to interview for such an article, however, I would not automatically assume that because of his temporary position, his remarks reflect the state of ALL German manufacturers, but rather of only those that his intimately familiar with...starting perhaps with the company he heads.


Stein Veggie,

It’s interesting to see you posting again, say hello to old buddies from the past...

As you probably know through your past posting history, if those having some inside knowledge of the industry decide to share it here, and especially if it relates to a manufacturers less than positive actions or stability, we are likely to be confronted with multiple responses as to our agendas and intentions, rather than appreciation for the information.

I’m sure that others, just as I did, had clear knowledge of the issues with Schimmel months before it filed for bankruptcy, and months before the subject was discussed on any website.
However, we also learned that it’s better to keep such information to ourselves.

Posted by: FogVilleLad

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/06/09 02:26 PM

Ori, glad to learn that Bluthner is strong enough to rescue another brand.
Posted by: Beacon Chris

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/06/09 09:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Ori


In the article, Mr. Stein is quoted as saying that: 'The firm Leipziger Pianoforte has had to halt production completely'.

This was indeed true, however, to provide Mr. Stein with news he may not be aware of, the 'Lipziger Piano Fabric', who made both Ronish and another less known line of pianos, Hupfeld, was recently purchased by Bluthner, and actually resumed production under the new ownership.

Blunther's purchase of this company demonstrates the opportunities that some of the stronger piano makers in Germany have these days.


To clarify further, 'the National Piano Makers Association of Germany (BK)', have a rotating chairman each year from amongst the 12 more known piano makers.
This year, it is Grotrian's Burkhard Stein's turn. Nest year, it will be someone else’s turn.

As the rotating head of the BK, Mr. Stein would be the logical candidate to interview for such an article, however, I would not automatically assume that because of his temporary position, his remarks reflect the state of ALL German manufacturers, but rather of only those that his intimately familiar with...starting perhaps with the company he heads.



Ori,

Read the article more carefully.

Mr. Stein is not quoted as you suggest. It's the author of the article who makes the statement you attribute to Stein. Furthermore, you seem to be taking certain statements of the article out of context to somehow impugn Mr. Stein's credibility and Grotrian's performance. No bother - for those of us who know Burkhard personally and professionally, we know that his integrity is beyond reproach.

On another note, I'm certain that Mr. Stein is "aware" of the news you bring here to PW concerning the purchase of the Leipziger Pianoforte firm unless, of course, it's of relatively minimal importance.

BC
Posted by: Gregor

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/07/09 06:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Ori

the 'Lipziger Piano Fabric', who made both Ronish and another less known line of pianos, Hupfeld, was recently purchased by Bluthner, and actually resumed production under the new ownership.


What do you mean by recently? 1997 Pfeiffer bought Rönisch and Rönisch went bankrupt in August this year. Was Rönisch sold to Blüthner this year?

Gregor
Posted by: Ori

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/07/09 01:20 PM


Gregor,

The purchase was made within the last couple of months.


Chris,

I do not attempt to 'impugn Mr. Stein's credibility and Grotrian's performance' as you suggest, to explain that he is the current head of the BK due to a rotation system, and that he is not likely to be privy as to how all other companies are affected by, or viewing this recession.

To give you an example, there is no doubt that 2009 shall be remembered as a year of severe economic downturn, with very difficult real estate market.
Yet, I have friend that during the course of the year bought the mortgages or deeds of several THOUSANDS of real estate properties all across the US, paying pennies on the dollar.

While he too knows that we are in a midst of a severe recession, and may have even suffered losses on some previous investments, he considers this period to be one of great opportunity rather than a bust.
Posted by: Beacon Chris

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/07/09 01:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Ori

Gregor,

The purchase was made within the last couple of months.


Chris,

I do not attempt to 'impugn Mr. Stein's credibility and Grotrian's performance' as you suggest, to explain that he is the current head of the BK due to a rotation system, and that he is not likely to be privy as to how all other companies are affected by, or viewing this recession.




The readers of the forum can draw their own conclusions regarding your intentions. Insofar as the head of BK or anyone else being privy to the state of German piano corporations, the financial statements of all of these companies are a matter of public record according to German law and readily available online. No big secret.

BC
Posted by: mjs

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/08/09 03:10 AM

Chris,

since most German piano manufacturers are private companies, they are not necessarily (depending on the company form chosen) required to publish accounts. The only piano manufacturer in Germany (apart from Steinway & Sons, which operates as part of an American firm) which is a public company (and therefore required to publish full financial statements), is C. Bechstein.

Markus
Posted by: Beacon Chris

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/08/09 05:47 AM

Markus,

I'm certain this has changed in recent years as I, myself, have seen all of these statements online. If I have some time, I'll find the web address for you. Since I'm not in the habit of gossiping about piano brands ad nauseum I don't have the site bookmarked or anything.

Thanks for the interest.
Posted by: mjs

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/08/09 06:42 AM

That would be the ebundesanzeiger.de. Only companies in form of an AG (public listed company) and a GmbH (limited liability company) are required to do so. Not all piano manufacturers fall in that category. And: smaller companies have over a year after the end of their business year to file, so the information is not exactly up to date.
Posted by: Ori

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/08/09 03:51 PM


MJS,

Thank you for providing Chris with an explanation regarding the difference between the publicly held and privately held companies, and Gmbh.

Chris,


As I said before:

Those having some inside knowledge of the industry and decide to share it here, and especially if it relates to a manufacturers less than positive actions or stability, are likely to be confronted with multiple responses as to our agendas and intentions, rather than appreciation for the information.


Thank you too for supporting the above by your remarks, and demonstrating the reason readers (like you?) find out about things months/years after they happened and only after they become 'public knowledge', rather than as they occur.
Posted by: AJB

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/08/09 04:41 PM

Hilarious. A piano dealer in America reckons he has up to date inside information on the financial position of piano manufactures in Germany!

And other people believe that the limited and hugely out of date information that is published on German companies (largely un-audited, tax oriented and taking full advantage of the rules for minimal disclosure, not to mention the almost complete lack of enforcement of absent or late reporting....) is in some way meaningful.

And if the companies have publicly traded shares, or (more likely) if the rights of unpaid third party creditors are adversely affected. (say because they did not have this inside information and continued to extend credit).....there are European laws penalizing the dissemination of inside information in such circumstances, so bragging about it could hurt the idiot in the company that handed it out as well, potentially, as the recipient.

Absurd.

AJB
Posted by: MarKey

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/08/09 04:57 PM

Maybe now the piano manufactures and dealers will realize their pianos are way overpriced and adjust according to the value and the market. Come on, Kawai and Yamaha price increases are buy them right out of the industry. I'm thankful for the impact the China pianos have made in terms of pricing and value. I hope the adjustment will hit those Tier 1 and Tier 2 pianos sooner than later and finally people can pay a decent price for a decent piano. laugh
Posted by: Beacon Chris

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/08/09 06:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Ori

MJS,

Thank you for providing Chris with an explanation regarding the difference between the publicly held and privately held companies, and Gmbh.

Chris,


As I said before:

Those having some inside knowledge of the industry and decide to share it here, and especially if it relates to a manufacturers less than positive actions or stability, are likely to be confronted with multiple responses as to our agendas and intentions, rather than appreciation for the information.


Thank you too for supporting the above by your remarks, and demonstrating the reason readers (like you?) find out about things months/years after they happened and only after they become 'public knowledge', rather than as they occur.


Ori,

Thank you for your condescending tone. There are many dealers of fine pianos who participate on this forum or choose not to participate on this forum who are privy to the same information you share and other information you are not aware of. I'm one of these people. I personally don't feel need to announce with fanfare every small move in the industry in order to ingratiate myself with the folks here at PianoWorld. I choose, instead, to share this information with my customers at my store when they make an important purchasing decision. It's my style. You and I both know it doesn't make you any smarter or more informed than me - (even though you might think it does)

Going back to your first post, you conflated words by the author of an article with the quotes from Mr. Stein in order to cast doubt on his knowledge of the piano industry. Why? What nice about that? It's not informative, it's misleading. I'm sorry, but I had to chime in.

I most certainly know the difference between a public and private company, and yet you throw this barb at me in your comments to another forum member? Please. By the way, the information in the discussed website is not at all irrelevant. Just the opposite - it is recent public record that projects very important trends right into current times. It's essential numbers without any dealer spin.

I am your competitor. I called you rather gently on the carpet regarding your comments about Mr. Stein who happens to be the managing director of a brand I represent. You most certainly wouldn't have made the same comments regarding the managing director of a brand you do represent. You and I both know this. I would NEVER make the same inference about an industry executive on this forum - it's not appropriate.

Your response to me is a put down. I'm not the first nor will I be the last. You should, however, show more respect to others in the industry -

BC
Posted by: Ori

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/08/09 07:41 PM

Chris,

I wrote before:


Those having some inside knowledge of the industry and decide to share it here, and especially if it relates to a manufacturers less than positive actions or stability, are likely to be confronted with multiple responses as to our agendas and intentions, rather than appreciation for the information.

Enough said.
Posted by: Beacon Chris

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/08/09 07:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Ori
Chris,

I wrote before:


Those having some inside knowledge of the industry and decide to share it here, and especially if it relates to a manufacturers less than positive actions or stability, are likely to be confronted with multiple responses as to our agendas and intentions, rather than appreciation for the information.

Enough said.


Whatever...
Posted by: SeilerFan

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/09/09 01:21 PM

And yet another thread where dealers attack each other. How unnecessary. I for one appreciate Ori's information as I didn't know about Bluethner's purchase of Leipziger Pianofortefabrik. I highly doubt that he is ingratiating himself with the PWF membership by doing so. I don't have a chance to walk into a piano store that sells Hupfeld in my neck of the wood and get the drift from a dealer, and thus I read PWF.

How about just sharing information on here without the bickering about who is more or less informed?
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/09/09 01:42 PM

Information is good. But Chris was well within his rights to protest subtle digs at Burkhard Stein (whom I know as well). If one person takes the floor and stands alone, that possession of the floor conveys ownership. To offer another perspective is risky too, as Chris discovered. You become just another bickering dealer.
Posted by: Gregor

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/10/09 04:05 AM

Originally Posted By: SeilerFan
I don't have a chance to walk into a piano store that sells Hupfeld in my neck of the wood


No wonder. As far I know Pianofortefabrik Leipzig gave up the brand name Hupfeld a few years ago. The pianos were the same like Rönisch. E.g. the Hupfeld 122K was identical to the Rönisch 123K.

Gregor
Posted by: twfay

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/11/09 12:17 PM

If not wrong ,Pearl River will take over Schimmel by end of the year.
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/11/09 01:03 PM

Originally Posted By: twfay
If not wrong ,Pearl River will take over Schimmel by end of the year.


twfay,
Is this a guess, wishful thinking, or do you have a source for this statement? And, if so can we expect additional information in the near future?
Posted by: Gregor

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 07:08 AM

sounds like a (bad) joke.

Gregor
Posted by: twfay

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 12:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Carl Mc
Originally Posted By: twfay
If not wrong ,Pearl River will take over Schimmel by end of the year.


twfay,
Is this a guess, wishful thinking, or do you have a source for this statement? And, if so can we expect additional information in the near future?


Carl mc,
Due to a good relationship with Pearl River, i get this imformation. Not guess or wishful think. I have no evidence (if have i think i can earn a lot money juz to predict which company will bankrupt) If i have additional information, i will post here again smile Currently if u know read chinese, i can give u few link for ref, a web from China Guangzhou Nanfang online news.

http://www.gzonline.gov.cn/portal/site/s...de=001014005005
http://www.ca001.com/ca001/html/35/n-420035.html
Posted by: Fun

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 02:18 PM

Interesting. I read the news you posted. For those who can't read, I'll just do a short summary:
"Pearl River Piano company is the process of purchasing a German piano company, which is considered one of the top 5 piano makers in the world. At this point, we will not disclose the name of the company because we do not want to affect the negotiation process. Acquiring a world-class piano maker will be a great strategic move for the Pearl River Piano company."

Schimmel was one of my top choice in my recent piano shopping, and I'm glad I didn't buy a Chinese piano (just kidding!).
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 05:00 PM

Interesting... could be a win - win situation, or not.
Regardless, mine is already in the house. smile
Posted by: AJB

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 05:35 PM

So, who is it unlikely to be?

Steingraeber. No. Independent and seems solid.
Hamburg Steinway. No chance.
Bluthner? Maybe. But are they even close to top 5 these days?
Bechstein. Has had years of financial instability, so maybe.
Boesendorfer. Austrian and now owned by Yamaha. Who may want to offload it. Dubious.
Schimmel. Well, as it is in administration they will be desperate and cheap.

Story sounds credible to me.
Posted by: turandot

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 05:51 PM

Adrian,

I had no idea that you were interested in idle speculation. grin

Forget the hunted. Focus on the hunter. It's inevitable that at some point some piano-related business entity in China will become a groom to a reluctant European bride. Even if Yamaha and SMC find the idea of a European trophy in their display cases appealing, they won't shop indiscriminately. A Euro could always buy another Euro if the synergies were there (hate that word) grin. I guess Hyundai-backed Young Chang could be a player too if Hyundai wanted to be (should anyone really want to be?).

The significant thing about Pearl River, whatever it is hunting, is that while it hasn't aced the test in terms of marketing to the West, it is a state-supported company with pockets that can run as deep as the state sees fit.
Posted by: Fun

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 06:35 PM

AJB, Bluthner is one of the six piano brands that are rated as Tier 1 by Larry Fine, so I'd say it's in the top 5. As far as the "prey" in this case, strictly speaking, Schimmel is not in the top 5, because it's tier 2. However, given it's current financial situation, it's likely to be the "prey" referred in the articles. Bechstein is another likely candidate, as it's a tier 1 brand.
Posted by: DanLaura Larson

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 07:04 PM

Fun when they say one of the top five piano makers are they referring to prestige or production numbers?

Dan
Posted by: turandot

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 07:12 PM

I doubt if Chinese business entrepeneurs (state or private) rely all that heavily on Larry Fine's ratings.

twfay or Fun,

According to the second link,

Pearl River is reporting export growth of 22% and profit growth of + 30% for the first two quarters of this year, and year-over-year export growth of 45%

Annual production is claimed to be 90,000 units accounting for 30% of domestic piano production and 12% of the world market.

If you are reading the original Chinese characters and my interpretation is wrong, please clean up behind me.

Thanks

Profit growth from making pianos?????

Who knew? grin


Posted by: Fun

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 07:14 PM

Dan, they're referring to prestige (or quality), not production numbers (or quantity).
Posted by: Fun

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/12/09 07:34 PM

Turandot, agree with you regarding the relevance of Larry Fine's rating in this case.

Your interpretation is correct regarding the profit. I'm actually not surprised with it. First of all, we're all aware of the rise of wealth in China. In fact, most of them save too much smile Secondly, there are not many Chinese family I know who does not send their kids to learn piano or violin, if they can afford it. These two factors would easily explain the rise of piano sales and/or profit for piano companies that have a strong foothold in China, including Pearl River.

If Pearl River indeed acquires Schimmel (or whoever else), it should help the company gain their market share in China, which IMHO would help tremendously for their survival in times to come. I think it's also wise for Yamaha to acquire Bosie, as Bosie has very high prestige in China (in line with Steinway). You probably know that Estonia is trying to get into China, due to the economic situation in the US.

It's an interesting times for everything, including the piano industry smile
Posted by: BPlayer

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/31/09 01:33 PM

http://www.presseanzeiger.de/meldungen/handel-wirtschaft/302381.php
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/31/09 01:50 PM

Quote:
You probably know that Estonia is trying to get into China, due to the economic situation in the US.


I'm afraid to say this is incorrect.

Estonia was invited to last week's piano fair in Shanghei, world's most important these days - but declined.

Current dealers for the piano still have to wait for stock, even at this time and there isn't enough pianos to go around.

You may believe this or not, but these are the facts.

Norbert
Posted by: Fun

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 10/31/09 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Norbert
I'm afraid to say this is incorrect.

Estonia was invited to last week's piano fair in Shanghei, world's most important these days - but declined.

Current dealers for the piano still have to wait for stock, even at this time and there isn't enough pianos to go around.

You may believe this or not, but these are the facts.

Norbert

Norbert, I got that impression from the attached article.

Quote: "While the piano maker has not escaped the negative effects of global economic crisis, Laul has used it as an opportunity to expand his market beyond the United States. We have made a deal selling pianos to Japan, will close talks soon in China and have been negotiating with the dealers to bring Estonia pianos also to the Arab piano market," Laul said explaining his anti-recession strategy."

Estonian pianos hit the right note

I do want to say that I got the last one from my local Estonian dealer in September, and he hasn't received any new one when I chatted with him a week ago.
Posted by: schwammerl

Re: Schimmel Bankrupt? - 11/01/09 02:06 AM

There are apparently indeed multiple candidates for the take over of the Schimmel company.

However the solution might come from a rather unexpected corner and not form a piano company like Pearl River, namely the Swiss capital investor Xarpo Capital Partners.

Please read following recent link:

Xarpo Capital Partners

schwammerl.