Steinway Files For IPO, Charts China Expansion as Annual Sales Approach $540 Million

A Steinway & Sons piano. Photo Credit: Filipp Romanovski

Steinway Musical Instruments Holdings, the entity behind 169-year-old piano company Steinway & Sons, has revealed plans to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The IPO ambitions of Astoria, New York-headquartered Steinway Musical Instruments came to light in an S-1 that was just recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to this all-encompassing document, Steinway shares would begin trading under the symbol “STWY” – though the S-1 doesn’t appear to identify the stock’s target price or possible IPO date.

The in-depth analysis does however cover all manner of other topics pertaining to Steinway, which current owner Paulson & Co. took private back in 2013. The company’s net sales in 2021 totaled about $538.35 million, for instance, with 75.5 percent of the total attributable to pianos and the remaining 24.5 percent having come from various Conn-Selmer instruments.

Also in 2021, 69 percent of the company’s piano sales derived from Steinway & Sons, while over half of Conn-Selmer sales “were generated through our preferred dealer network to schools and families who participate in beginning music education programs.”

Although 53.6 percent of the business’s 2021 sales resulted from customers in the Americas, against 28.5 percent for APAC and 17.9 percent for EMEA, higher-ups emphasized the potential associated with increasing their company’s reach in China.

The latter has “the world’s largest” piano market, per Steinway, “with an average of around 400,000 pianos being sold a year from 2017 to 2020, compared to an average of around 30,000 per year in the United States over the same period.”

“As China continues to develop and accumulate wealth, we will seek to capture the growing demand for ultra-premium pianos by private customers,” reads Steinway’s SEC filing, noting also that the nation of 1.4 billion residents accounted for 28.7 percent of piano sales in the 2021 fiscal year.

Lastly, in terms of the business’s piano sales, the Steinway Spirio and subsequently released Spirio | r (which come with a “complimentary” iPad and iPad Pro, respectively) made up 32 percent of the category in 2021, per the breakdown.

And amid skyrocketing house prices, execs indicated that they “typically expect demand for our products to track increased activity in the housing market, as consumers are more likely to buy Steinway pianos as they purchase new and higher-end homes.”

On the risk front, Steinway acknowledged that everything from natural disasters to an inherently long manufacturing time (purportedly “an artisanal process that takes at least six months per piano”) could negatively affect operations in the future.