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Legendary Guitar Maker Gibson Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Creditors have taken control of Gibson Brands, Inc., the legendary brand synonymous with the best in American guitars, after the company filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 because of what it said was a “devastating” financial fall.

Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

Nashville, TN, United States (4E) – Creditors have taken management of Gibson Brands, Inc., the legendary model synonymous with one of the best in American guitars, after the corporate filed for chapter safety below Chapter 11 due to what it mentioned was a “devastating” monetary fall.

The Chapter 11 submitting in Delaware retains Gibson in enterprise however offers possession to noteholders on the expense of stockholders, which embody CEO Henry Juszkiewicz (who owns 36% the corporate), together with president David H. Berryman. The court docket submitting reveals that among the many present noteholders are Silver Point Capital, Melody Capital Partners and funds affiliated with KKR Credit Advisors.

Gibson mentioned the restructuring will enable its instrument enterprise to “unburden” itself of a failed consumer-electronics unit it blamed for its monetary woes. It mentioned it should shut the loss-making Gibson Innovations unit that makes Philips-branded headphones, audio system and different digital equipment.

Gibson owes over $500 million, and lenders will present a brand new mortgage of as much as $135 million to maintain the corporate in enterprise. Gibson sought a sale or recapitalization, approached 58 companies and signing 27 non-disclosure agreements. Despite these efforts, Gibson mentioned it did not have sufficient capital to cowl its money owed and the time wanted to strike a deal.

Sales have plunged considerably over the previous years, and cost-cutting efforts didn’t cease the bleeding. In current months, lenders required accelerated reimbursement as the corporate’s enterprise deteriorated. A federal choose must log out on the corporate’s plan to prune its debt, which has the help of 69% of secured lenders on notes due in 2018.

“Over the past 12 months, we have made substantial strides through an operational restructuring,” mentioned Juszkiewicz. He famous that Gibson will “refocus on our core business” of musical devices, which “we believe will assure the company’s long-term stability and financial health.”

Juszkiewicz will proceed heading the corporate upon emergence from chapter “to facilitate a smooth transition,” in accordance with the settlement. Court papers name for a one-year consulting deal and compensation bundle for Juszkiewicz. Juszkiewicz destiny after that is unsure, however it’s virtually certin he’ll get replaced.

A gaggle of bondholders led by KKR-affiliated funds and suggested by funding financial institution PJT Partners Inc. and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP are main the restructuring that handed them possession of Gibson and allow them to set up new management. The group had refused to take a position new funds in Gibson whereas Juszkiewicz remained CEO.

Under Chapter 11, Gibson mentioned it deliberate to proceed designing, constructing and promoting musical devices and gear, together with its manufacturers reminiscent of Gibson guitars, Baldwin pianos, Wurlitzer, Dobro, Epiphone, KRK and Cerwin Vega.

Gibson sells greater than 170,000 guitars yearly in additional than 80 nations. The firm claims market share of greater than 40% in electrical guitars above $2,000, in accordance with the court docket submitting. Its iconic guitars have been performed by Elvis Presley, BB King, Keith Richards, Pete Townsend and Lenny Kravitz, amongst many different stars. Gibson’s guitars embody the Les Paul, SG, Flying V, Explorer, J-45 and Hummingbird.

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