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US Bands & Supplies acquires Knilling Violins and Austin Guitars

St. Louis based M.I. Distributor; U.S. Band and Orchestra Supplies Inc. acquires St. Louis Music and its divisions of Knilling, Austin and SLM MarketPlace from Loud Technologies Inc. The acquisition also includes the transfer of the exclusive worldwide sales license for the patented Perfection Peg stringed instrument tuning device.
The deal closed on Friday 14th November 2008 after several weeks of negotiations and it will mean St. Louis Music will return to its original hometown after sales and administrative operations had been moved to Loud’s Woodenville WA headquarters. Formed a decade ago, U.S. Band quickly became a major distributor specializing in supplying School Music Dealers across the United States. The company has grown rapidly since 1999 and in the last few years secured distribution of many of industry’s leading accessory lines. Brands such as D’Addario, Rico, Vandoren, Korg, Boss, Yamaha, Sennheiser - 150 lines in total representing 5000 products. Mark Ragin, U.S. Band & Orchestra Supplies founder and CEO, called the transaction, “a perfect fit.” He added, “Knilling was the top selling stringed instrument line in the U.S. for a long time and our goal is to make it number one again. I always had tremendous respect for the St. Louis Music organization looking at it from the outside. But, since completing the purchase, I have been amazed at the outpouring of goodwill we have received. I am gratified by all the retailers and suppliers who really want us to succeed with this transaction.”
"Our game plan has always been to be the ultimate one-stop shop, but we were not getting as much of the orchestra side of the business as we would have liked," said Ragin, president and owner of U.S. Band & Orchestra Supplies. "Now, with this deal, we'll be really the largest independent distributor for these segments and add to our growing guitar and combo divisions."
Rodney Olson, President and CEO of Loud Technologies Inc. commented, “U.S. Band & Orchestra Supplies is the ideal new owner for SLM Marketplace, Austin, and Knilling, since they will ensure that our dealer network for these products will continue to receive the highest levels of service and support."
Earlier this year U.S. Band & Orchestra also became the exclusive sales agent for the E.K. Blessing line of U.S.-made brasswinds. According to Ragin, the addition of the Knilling stringed instrument line provides an ideal complement to Blessing and enables the company to move closer to the goal of offering, “one stop shopping.” Together, this product line-up represents a very compelling opportunity for retailers.”
St. Louis Music dates back to 1903 when Bernard Kornblum began wholesaling violin parts in St. Louis. The company initially traded as Kornblum Brothers Music, but changed to St. Louis Music after acquiring a small print music distributor of the same name. Bernard’s son Gene Kornblum ran the family business from the 1950’s transforming it from into one of largest M.I. distributors in the world. In 2005, he sold St. Louis Music to Loud Technologies for $38 million.
LOUD Technologies Inc. (NasdaqCM: LTEC) is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of professional audio and music products and the corporate parent for many brands including Alvarez, Ampeg, Crate, EAW, Mackie, Martin Audio, SIA and TAPCO.
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