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Gibson files for bankruptcy

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Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby Sam Inglis » Tue May 01, 2018 1:18 pm

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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby desmond » Tue May 01, 2018 1:30 pm

Too bad, but it's been horrendously mis-managed by Juskiewicz for decades, buying up and shutting down random companies that had nothing to do with the Gibson brand in seemingly directionless "strategies" that didn't result any product.
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby Forum Admin » Tue May 01, 2018 2:28 pm

They've filed for Chapter 11 protection which is different to out-and-out bankruptcy. It's usually done to stave off the creditors and debt collectors, and to give them more time to find a way out -- selling off the company, or piecemeal assets, etc.

Real shame it's come to this, though.
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby Agharta » Tue May 01, 2018 8:59 pm

Forum Admin wrote:They've filed for Chapter 11 protection...
Gibson might as well as had the same management as Spinal Tap the way they were run so not a surprise they have turned it up to 11.
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby dubbmann » Wed May 02, 2018 10:54 pm

Yes, Henry finally screwed the pooch. Here's an article from Bloomberg news on the filing. Funny, I didn't know about Henry's "diversification" into consumer electronics. Imagine owning a premier brand and trying to leverage it into cheap junk. Leave it to Henry...

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d


Gibson Brands Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection, with lenders taking control of the iconic American business that’s supplied guitars to B.B. King, Elvis Presley and Pete Townshend.

The Chapter 11 filing on Tuesday in Delaware keeps Gibson in business but gives ownership to noteholders, replacing stockholders that include Chief Executive Officer Henry Juszkiewicz, the company’s leader for more than three decades. According to court filings, current noteholders include Silver Point Capital, Melody Capital Partners and funds affiliated with KKR Credit Advisors.

The restructuring will allow the instrument business to "unburden" itself of a consumer-electronics unit that Gibson blamed for its financial woes. Gibson owes as much as $500 million, and lenders will provide a new loan of up to $135 million to keep the company in business, according to court papers.

Juszkiewicz, who has found himself at odds with creditors in recent months, will continue with the company upon emergence from bankruptcy “to facilitate a smooth transition,” according to the agreement. Court papers call for a one-year consulting deal and compensation package for Juszkiewicz. A representative for the company didn’t respond to questions about whether Juszkiewicz will remain as CEO or in a separate role.

Debt Talks
A group of bondholders led by KKR-affiliated funds and advised by investment bank PJT Partners Inc. and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP had been pushing for a restructuring that would hand them ownership of the guitar maker and let them install new leadership. The group had declined to invest new funds in Gibson while Juszkiewicz remained in charge, Bloomberg previously reported.

Working with Jefferies LLC, the company had sought a sale or recapitalization, approaching 58 businesses and signing 27 non-disclosure agreements. Still, Gibson said it didn’t have enough capital to pay down its debt and get more time to strike a deal, according to court filings.

Gibson was engaged with negotiations with the creditor group in March, talks that ended because shareholders and KKR were “significantly divergent in their views regarding the appropriate consideration for the various parties involved,” according to a company statement. The company had also been talking with other potential investors in hopes of receiving new money to refinance its debt and take out the existing creditors.

Failed Diversification
Gibson, founded in 1894, sells over 170,000 guitars annually in 80 countries. Its guitars are U.S.-made, with factories in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, and Bozeman, Montana. It also sells studio monitors, headphones, turntables and other musical instruments. Units also include the company’s Baldwin Piano business. All told, the music instruments business employs at least 875 people, according to court papers.

Its Gibson Innovations business, which sells audio products like speakers, headphones, and DJ products, was the source of its financial woes, according to a court statement from Brian J. Fox, a managing director at Alvarez & Marsal who will serve as the company’s chief restructuring officer. Acquired through a leveraged transaction, the business faced significant sales declines due in part to a loss of credit insurance overseas. The unit will be wound down, according to a Gibson news release.

‘Music Lifestyle’
Juszkiewicz bought the audio and home entertainment business from Koninklijke Philips NV in June 2014 for $135 million as part of a bid to relaunch Gibson Guitars as Gibson Brands Inc., a “music lifestyle” company. He also bought a line of consumer electronics from Japanese company Onkyo Corp. in his bid for diversification. But the purchases drained cash, and earnings plunged. The company ran out of time for a turnaround as a bond maturity and springing term loan loomed in July.

Management, creditors and consumers alike see strong potential for Gibson’s iconic music business. But challenges have abounded, beyond the ill-fated expansion into consumer electronics.


In recent years, Gibson faced tighter credit terms from its suppliers and growing pressure from new import regulations on rosewood, a crucial material for the company’s high-end instruments, according to S&P Global Ratings. Gibson had also developed a broken relationship with some retailers, a number of whom have stopped selling the brand, citing unmanageable demands that range from annual credit checks to upfront orders for a year’s merchandise.

‘Exit Path’
With the noteholder agreement, the company has "an exit path from Chapter 11 as a deleveraged business, poised for continued growth," Fox said in the filing. The hope is that a more nimble, reorganized company will be able to address its problems and return focus to the core guitar business.

Fox described the electronics business as having become "trapped in a vicious cycle in which it lacked the liquidity to buy inventory and drive sales." Cross-defaults had threatened the musical instruments business, and the company has been working with advisers since late 2017 to try to solve the problem.

The company was able to reach an arrangement with major constituents to its musical instruments business, but not the consumer-electronics business, Fox said.

"The Gibson name is synonymous with quality and today’s actions will allow future generations to experience the unrivaled sound, design and craftsmanship that our employees put into each Gibson product," Juszkiewicz said in a statement.

The case is Gibson Brands Inc., 18-11025, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware.
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby Alvvays » Thu May 03, 2018 10:15 am

Wow....too bad. I've always loved their guitar.
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby jaminem » Thu May 03, 2018 10:17 am

Hey I really hope this means I can pick up a Dusk Tiger cheaply....
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu May 03, 2018 10:39 am

No chance, prices will go up due to scarcity..... :headbang:
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby John Egan » Thu May 03, 2018 2:09 pm

This report

http://variety.com/2018/biz/news/gibson-iconic-guitar-company-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy-protection-1202793510/
states that the principal creditors now own a 69% stake in the company, which probably means that the present management's days are well and truly numbered. I just hope that Gibson recovers in time.
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby CS70 » Thu May 03, 2018 4:43 pm

Hope they'll do fine. My Gibson acoustic SJ 100 is one of the finest guitars I've ever seen.
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby blinddrew » Sat May 12, 2018 10:06 am

Interesting piece on it here looking at the difference between invention and innovation, and the different marketing approaches adopted by Gibson and Fender.
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180 ... ling.shtml

[EDIT: and this time WITH the link... :headbang: ]
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby Martin Walker » Sun May 13, 2018 11:50 am

blinddrew wrote:Interesting piece on it here looking at the difference between invention and innovation, and the different marketing approaches adopted by Gibson and Fender.
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180 ... ling.shtml

[EDIT: and this time WITH the link... :headbang: ]

Now THAT's a fascinating and well thought out article - thanks Drew!

Particularly interesting were the results of Fender's survey into who buys guitars nowadays.


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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby blinddrew » Sun May 13, 2018 1:08 pm

Indeed, I wonder if they're sharing that info with their dealers and how many guitar stores are taking that on board and making their environments a bit more female-friendly.
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby OneWorld » Thu May 24, 2018 10:22 am

blinddrew wrote: female-friendly.

Why, what's up?
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby Martin Walker » Thu May 24, 2018 2:06 pm

OneWorld wrote:
blinddrew wrote: female-friendly.

Why, what's up?

OneWorld, you need to follow drew's link above ;)

However, here's a relevant section that should explain:

"We also found that 50% of new guitar buyers were women and that their tendency was to buy online rather than in a brick and mortar store because the intimidation factor in a brick and mortar store was rather high."


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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby Dr R » Fri May 25, 2018 8:07 pm

I have been into more guitar shops in the last five months than in my entire previous half century. The welcoming ones are usually very blokey, and the others seem to resent you interrupting their practicing or surfing. Intimidating for anyone, but I can imagine it would be much worse for novice women. Like garages still are in many places.
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby Folderol » Fri May 25, 2018 9:56 pm

Dr R wrote:I have been into more guitar shops in the last five months than in my entire previous half century. The welcoming ones are usually very blokey, and the others seem to resent you interrupting their practicing or surfing. Intimidating for anyone, but I can imagine it would be much worse for novice women. Like garages still are in many places.
Brings back a memory :)
My mum used to terrorise garage mechanics through the 50s and 60s when they tried bullshitting her. She had a job during the war... Servicing just about every civilian vehicle around - although I understand it did take two of them to undo some of the wheel nuts :)
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby Yak_Forger » Wed May 30, 2018 3:40 pm

One more legend leaves the scene...
I think the manager thought the company was too big to fail (hey, it's a big name after all) and thus decided to try his hand at anything that looked like easy money... It wouldn't be the first company to do so.

And yes, I don't see the prices getting any cheaper ; quite the contrary, everything Gibson will be horribly price-gouged because "look, it's from that old super famous company, it isn't made anymore, blah blah blah"
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Re: Gibson files for bankruptcy

Postby BigRedX » Thu May 31, 2018 8:57 am

The Gibson name isn't going away anytime soon.

The lat I hear was that one of the big Japanese instrument manufacturers were looking to obtain the name and IP. Yamaha have certainly been mentioned elsewhere. A company like that taking up the Gibson mantle may well start producing instruments that are superior to the present sorry offerings.
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