The sad tale of Gibson’s financial woes has been the leading story in the guitar industry this year. After the famed guitar maker entered bankruptcy in April, trade press and financial news outlets are now reporting that Gibson looks likely to exit bankruptcy in a matter of weeks.
Chapter 11 no more?
According to articles on MSRetailer and the Wall Street Journal, all the major stakeholders in the company’s Chapter 11 deal have reached a settlement that will see Gibson leave Chapter 11 in October this year. Criticism had been growing from some quarters about the previous version of the settlement plan. A new deadline for voting has been announced,
So what will be the future role at Gibson for current owner and CEO Henry Juskiewicz? It was never likely that he would retain his position. Now it seems almost certain that he will be stepping down to assume a consultant role for the company. The day-to-day running of the of the company falls to Brian Fox of Alvarez and Marsal, effective from 6 September, as Chief Restructuring Officer until the CEO position is filled permanently.
So it’s all good news, right? According to the WSJ article, the new owners of the company are “led by funds managed by KKR & Co.” Read: suits. Also, the new settlement plan effectively ends the search for a new buyer. From a musician’s point of view, it seems a shame that there isn’t going to be a new owner from within the industry. It would have been great to see Gibson run by people who know and understand musicians. Hopefully the new CEO will have a music industry background.
Oh, and as a kicker, here’s Henry Juskiewicz’s official comment:
I have been honoured to lead such a dynamic company in an industry near and dear to my heart. I am excited about a great future for Gibson and its loyal employees, customers and partners.