Bye Bye Henry – Gibson ousts Juszkiewicz and Berryman. Guitar maker to exit bankruptcy next month

Gibson faces last minute hitch in bankruptcy escape bid

The long running saga of Gibson’s bankruptcy appears to be nearing a conclusion. In a US court this week, control of the business passed to investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) with an agreement that former CEO Henry Juszkiewicz and his business partner Dave Berryman will see their equity stakes cancelled. Both will get a consulting agreement that bars them from making negative comments about Gibson for three years. A KKR owned Gibson will be, essentially, debt free under the agreement, the company claims, when it formally emerges from bankruptcy proceedings which is expected to be in November.

Reports in US business media say the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has approved the reorganisation plan proposed when Gibson filed for bankruptcy protection in May. Under the newly approved plan, control of the company passes to a group of bondholders led by KKR and a new board of directors.

Gibson is still to announce the appointment of a new CEO, though a $60 million law suit from the German company Tronical, which made Gibson’s ill-fated auto-tuning system, is going to be settled soon, according to a report in the Nashville Post this week.

‘Focusing on our iconic brands and core musical instruments, Gibson is poised to continue as one of America’s premier manufacturers of musical instruments with a clear path that will benefit our customers, business partners and employees over the long term,’ Brian Fox, KKR’s chief restructuring officer, said in a press release.