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Buffet Crampon Acquires Powell

...was announced by Buffet Crampon President Jérôme Perrod. Buffet will maintain the Powell flute factory in Maynard, Massachusetts, which Buffet Group USA President François Kloc, described as “the heart and soul of the company.” Kloc will oversee the operation, which employs 46, assisted by longtime Powell employees Mark Spuria, CFO, and Rob Viola, production manager. Steven Wasser, CEO and owner of Powell since 1986, will also assist as an advisor.

Powell adds a new instrument family to Buffet’s product line, which includes Besson and Courtois brasswinds, and Keilwerth saxophones, as well as the renowned Buffet clarinets. Powell flutes range in price from $1,500 for a Sonaré student instrument to as much as $40,000 for a gold-plated professional model. With the addition of Powell flutes, Buffet Crampon’s revenues topped €100 ($115.0 million at current exchange rates).

Powell flutes was founded by Verne Q. Powell in 1927. Powell grew up in a family of silversmiths, who also happened to be enthusiastic amateur musicians. After hearing Georges Barrère perform on a silver flute in 1910, he set out to build a flute for himself. The flute so impressed William S. Haynes, owner of the Haynes Flute Company, that he hired Powell in 1916. Powell quickly rose to become shop foreman at Haynes and in 1927 left to launch his own company. Powell sold his company to four employees in 1961. Steven Wasser acquired the company in 1986.

Historical links between Buffet Crampon and Powell date back to the 1930s, when Buffet engineers reached out to Powell to assist in the design and manufacture of a high-quality saxophone. Although the saxophone project was short lived, Kloc says the two companies share a “common DNA,” based on “a tradition of craftsmanship, rooted in successive generations of instrument makers who share the love of their craft.” The two companies have almost three cumulative centuries of instrument making experience, as well as close ties with generations of leading musicians.

Powell reinforces the presence of Buffet Crampon in strategic marketsand also establishes a manufacturing footprint for Buffet Crampon in the U.S. Buffet Crampon’s global dealer network also provides a growth opportunity for Powell flutes, especially in the U.S. and Europe.

The Buffet Crampon Group has ten brands—Buffet Crampon, Besson, Antoine Courtois, J. Keilwerth, W. Schreiber, B & S, Hans Hoyer, Melton Meinl Weston, Scherzer, and now Powell.

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