Good news at last for troubled guitar maker Gibson, which is reported to be close to an agreement leading the Nashville company out of bankruptcy.
Gibson has announced that all of the major stakeholders in the Company’s Chapter 11 cases have reached a global settlement with respect to the Company’s plan of reorganisation.
‘With the Global Settlement in place, Gibson is on track to complete its restructuring and continue on its journey of crafting the highest quality of musical instruments known worldwide,’ said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gibson Brands. ‘It is because of the united efforts of all of our stakeholders and their commitment to seek resolution that we expect Gibson can emerge from Chapter 11 during the fourth quarter of this year as a stronger company, focused on its core musical instruments business with essentially no debt.’
Despite Juszkiewicz’s confident statement, his role, and that that of his business partner Dave Berryman, are likely to be greatly diminished in the revitalised company. US publication Digital Music News speculated that: ‘Henry Juszkiewicz, the ousted CEO and a previous owner, would assume a seriously reduced role in the restructured entity…. Specifically, Juszkiewicz would embark on a permanent leave and lose most of his equity in the company’.
A statement issued on behalf of Gibson reports: ‘Jamie Baird of PJT Partners, speaking at the request of the Ad Hoc Committee of Secured Notes, said “As the future owners of Gibson Brands, we are pleased that the business has performed well throughout the restructuring. With an anticipated exit from bankruptcy less than one month away, Gibson is poised for growth on strong consumer demand, significant available liquidity, and a debt free balance sheet at emergence. We look forward to working with the Company’s customers, employees, suppliers, vendors, and other partners as Gibson gets back to its roots and its next chapter begins.”‘
Gibson, reportedly still searching for a new CEO, confirmed Juszkiewicz’s reduced role, saying: ‘When the amended Plan is confirmed and goes effective, Mr. Juszkiewicz will step down from his position as CEO and assume the role of consultant to the Company. Effective today, Brian Fox of Alvarez and Marsal, who has been working with Gibson since August 2017 and has served as Chief Restructuring Officer, will oversee Gibson’s daily operations in his role as CRO until a CEO successor is appointed, while Mr. Juszkiewicz takes some time off before starting his consulting role’.