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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000429.txt from 2005/04

Subj: [kl] Latest Clarinet Gossip - Buffet Sold Again????
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 09:45:49 -0400

I received a flyer in the mail yesterday from Lisa Argiris. Yes, she is
alive and well, but according to the flyer, had to sell International
Musical Suppliers due to a divorce last December. Many of you are aware that
she is no longer affiliate with them and may have wondered what happened.

Her flyer advises that she is now able to spend more time doing what she
loves, which is performing, and she has opened up a new musical venture
called "Lisa's Clarinet Shop". She will now specialize exclusively in hand
picking clarinets for those interested in paying a little extra for her
service. She also offers the ability to hand pick your Buffet clarinet at
the factory warehouse in Sun valley, California.

Now for the bombshell, she talks about the well known sale of Leblanc to
Selmer USA, but goes on to say that Buffet has been sold again. As you know,
The Music Group bought Buffet from Boosey and Hawkes, along with other
companies affiliated with Buffet, a few years back. They then sold Rico to
D'Addario, who up until then was the sole distributor in the USA for
Vandoren products. She says that D'Addario has severed all ties with
Vandoren and are going their own way now that they have Rico, and plan to
compete directly against Vandoren. She does not mention who the new Vandoren
distributor is for Vandoren in the USA. I also have to wonder about Buffet's
USA office/warehouse being in Sun Valley in what is the main Rico
headquarters. I have a feeling that they may eventually move to another
location now that they no longer own Rico.

Lisa says that the investment group that bought Buffet had a ""sole focus on
profit and not the production of products". She claims that this has had a
disastrous affect of their ability to produce some of their products as they
started to focus mainly on marketing the R-13 clarinet. She also says that
Buffet has now been purchased by a newly formed "French group which contains
remnants of former ownership" and hopefully this will allow a return to
product focus.

This would be quite some news, and I have been unable to verify any of this
doing Google searches, so if anyone out there has any more information or
can corroborate this I would be interested.

Lisa also says that now that Selmer USA has bought Leblanc, that this will
not bode well for their relationship with Selmer Paris. Selmer USA has an
exclusive agreement to be the sole distributor for Selmer Paris instruments
in the USA which is their biggest market. Now that they are competing
directly against them with the Leblanc clarinets, one has to wonder that
having complete control over the USA distribution of Selmer Paris clarinets
how this will all wash out. Do I sense a conflict of interest here? She says
that this will surely result in some sparks flying. I also have a feeling
that Selmer USA will be able to put quite a bit of pressure on Selmer Paris,
possibly with a goal in mind of eventually buying them up as well.

Tom Henson

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