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Hal Leonard acquired by Seidler Equity Partners

Laura  Barnes
Hal Leonard acquired by Seidler Equity Partners

The world’s largest producer of music performance and music educational publications has been acquired by a private investment firm.

Seidler Equity Partners has entered an agreement with Hal Leonard to acquire a majority interest in the company.

Wanting to insure the long-term financial growth of Hal Leonard, CEO Keith Mardak and his wife Mary Vandenberg, a former Hal Leonard Vice President and current shareholder, started looking at outside investors.

Although there will be a change in the ownership structure of the company, the management will stay the same with senior management retaining minority ownership and signing multi-year contracts, including Mardak who will remain chairman and CEO.
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“I joined Hal Leonard in 1970,” said Mardak in a letter to employees, “and acquired the company in 1985, along with some managers as minority partners. We’ve had tremendous growth since the time I started, but I think the best years are still ahead of us.

“Mary and I decided we needed to do some estate planning. That, along with wanting to insure the company’s financial strength for future growth, are what have spurred on bringing in outside investors who will now have a majority position in the company. Seidler Equity Partners are an absolutely great group of people.”

When Mardak joined the company in 1970, Hal Leonard had sales of less than $1 million. Today the company has annual sales of over $173 million.

Hal Leonard President Larry Morton added: “We’re excited about what Seidler brings to our board of directors. Their partnership model will help us expand our global reach and digital delivery platforms while recognising that the success of Hal Leonard has been built by a cohesive team of incredibly talented and dedicated employees.

“Seidler really understands the value and importance of our people. That along with their enthusiasm for our industry should be a great fit to take us to even greater heights.”

In its catalog of more than 200,000 titles, Hal Leonard represents many of the world's best known and most respected publishers, artists, songwriters, arrangers and musical instrument manufacturers.

It is the leading publisher of songbooks and sheet music of top catalogs featuring the music of Disney, the Beatles, Adele, Taylor Swift, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elvis Presley, John Williams, and thousands more; band, orchestra and choral arrangements for schools; music reference publications; children's music products; educational magazines; and more.

The company also develops eBooks, digital sheet music and apps, and has also become a major distributor of music gear, recording equipment, accessories and music gift items.

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Tags: hal leonard , acquisition

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