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Iconic Gibson Guitars Files for Bankruptcy

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(Image: Larry Ziffle/Flickr)

 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.

Bloomberg, excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, May 2, 2018

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