I’m emerging from my web development cave to share this, as it could be a potentially monumental event in the world of music notation software – the short version is that MakeMusic has received a buyout offer, which would likely include the company being liquidated. I’m no businessman (not even a little bit), but I know that this is a big deal.
I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth by talking about things I don’t really comprehend, but I did do a bit of research and reading. The knee-jerk reaction seems to be that this could be the end of MakeMusic and its products, if this acquisition goes through. In fact, I can see how that conclusion might be reached by reading MakeMusic’s own press release.
However, reading into a bit more detail (and reading the full text of the proposal) leads me to a different conclusion – it sounds like the buyer (LaunchEquity) intends to press forward with MakeMusic’s software, as they state that they will “need to inject at least $10 million over the next two years to (a) recruit and retain a new CEO, (b) upgrade both the Notation and SmartMusic software product lines and (c) cover working capital and seasonal liquidity needs.” That doesn’t sound like a proposal that’s intended to buy up a company and completely dissolve it.
True, revenues are down – after the recent news that Finale would skip version 2013, and the apparent downturn in the number of SmartMusic subscriptions. But their leadership has been a revolving door as well. Again quoting from the proposal: “MMUS has had four CEOs in the last four years and now has to recruit a fifth CEO.” Their most recent CEO stepped down in June.
Don’t get me wrong – something is going on at MakeMusic. The CEO issue alone tells me that. But it sounds less like the company about to be dissolved and more like a concerned investor is unhappy with their progress, and wants to buy them out and “get them on the right track.”
There are others who think this way as well, and I am writing this mostly to encourage those of you who are concerned to read the entire proposal, and not just MakeMusic’s press release (which, I feel, makes things sound more bleak). At this point, my personal opinion is that Finale / SmartMusic users should not be concerned about their software becoming abandonware anytime soon. For what it’s worth, I’m not alone.
That’s my interpretation, from a complete non-business background. Please feel free to weigh in with your comments.