Legendary saxophone maker Selmer to sell majority stake to fund

PARIS, Jan 10 (Reuters) - The legendary saxophone maker Henri Selmer Paris said on Wednesday it would sell a majority stake to an investment fund, ending more than 130 years of family control over the firm.

Founded in 1885, the company has remained in the Selmer family’s hands since then, but some of its 55 shareholders have decided to sell out to investment fund Argos Soditic, it said in a statement.

The company, which has a staff of 500 and booked revenues of 35 million euros ($41.90 million)in 2017, said bringing in the fund as a shareholder would help it tap into growing demand in the face of growing competition.

Though it also makes clarinets, bassoons and trumpets, the company is best known for saxophones played by jazz legends like John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter.

Selmer’s Mark VI tenors were in particular the saxophone of choice for many of the jazz greats from the 1950s and 1960s and vintage instruments remain in high demand and fetch equally high prices.

$1 = 0.8354 euros Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by John Irish