S&P Global Ratings, part of top credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s, this week lowered their rating of Gibson Brands, Inc. to “CCC-” – down one step from the already low rating of “CCC.” Their outlook on Gibson? “Negative.” A rating of CCC- means that “default is imminent.”
Company Rehires CFO With Debt Deadline Fast Approaching
As the music world media continues to trumpet the news of the potential impending collapse of Gibson Brands, noting large outstanding debts and the exit of the company’s CFO, Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz launches a PR blitz to try and stem the collapse of the company’s reputation. It is a critical time for Juszkiewicz, as he is engaged in trying to refinance the company whose huge debt portfolio of over $500 million comes due in just a few short months. To try and stem the tide, Gibson released a couple of press releases last week claiming, in essence and improbably, that things are just fine.
Oh and Gibson Brands hired a CFO…or rather, re-hired a former CFO… [Read more…] about Gibson CEO Turns to PR to Stop Crashing Reputation
Strata-gee *EXCLUSIVE* Interview with Tom Thiel
Although Strata-gee has loosely followed Thiel Audio for many years, since 2012, when the company was sold by co-founder Kathy Gornik to a group of Tennessee private equity investors, our coverage intensified. Part of the motivation for devoting more coverage to this stage of Thiel, was a growing interest in the apparent deteriorating state of specialty A/V – but it was also fueled by a wacky, reality-show like, “You’re Fired!” atmosphere as principal owner David B. Griffin routinely dismissed newly constituted management teams. With five different CEOs over a five-year period, some with tenures measured in months, the company’s business suffered from inconsistent fits-and-starts as each team pursued a new direction.
This state of constant turmoil at Thiel caused extreme consternation among – first the Thiel dealer base, and when that disappeared – Thiel end-users, many of whom were huge fans of Jim Thiel. A host of audio forums and bulletin boards had ongoing, passionate postings bemoaning the end of an era: the end of the Kathy Gornik era…and of course, the end of the Jim Thiel era.
Kind of like in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, when Obi-wan says: “That boy is our last hope.” Yoda replies: “No, there is another…” [Read more…] about The Forgotten Thiel
The Plot Thickens in This Sales Triangle
Just last week, we learned that real estate investment company Somera Road filed a lawsuit in the Davidson County Chancery Court in Nashville, alleging that Gibson Brands had reneged on a deal to sell them a property known as the Valley Arts building. Now, in a report from the Nashville Post, we’ve learned that another party has sued Gibson over the same property.
See what we know about this mess Gibson finds themselves in… [Read more…] about Yet Another Investor Sues Gibson Over Soured Deal
Gibson Brands has reached a deal with GSO Capital Partners, one of its existing lenders, in order to push back a loan payment by approximately two weeks to December 15th. The reason for the move was to try and time the payment such that it arrived later in the holiday season for better timing relative to their anticipated cash flow.
See more on this new, if temporary, debt deal… [Read more…] about Gibson Cuts Debt Deal to Delay Payment Date
From our boy-that-was-fast department, Gibson Brands announced it has booked a deal to sell its Memphis factory/showroom. This facility, which is located in the heart of Memphis’ downtown right near the main entertainment district, had just been put on the market as we told you in our post of November 2nd.
See more on this latest Gibson Brands news… [Read more…] about Gibson Successfully Sells Memphis Factory
Acquired in 2013, Cakewalk was Killed for Philips, Gibson Says
In what many in the industry are suggesting is yet another indicator of struggles at Gibson Brands, the company announced a little over a week ago that it would wind down operations at Cakewalk Inc., a popular music creation software company it owns. Music industry-centric websites around the internet exploded with largely critical coverage of the move, and comments on Cakewalk’s website are decidedly negative – both sad and angry – as customers seek to process the shocking news.
See more on yet another move by struggling Gibson…
Gibson Brands, Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its property on a half-acre in the North Gulch area of Nashville, TN to a private equity group for $6.38 million, according to a report by the Tennessean. The property includes an unused Gibson warehouse. The purchase was by Somera Road Inc., who worked in partnership with Tricera Capital, a Miami, FL private equity company.
See more on this Gibson Brands deal, which may not be done yet…
Moody’s Hits Gibson Brands with Another Credit Downgrade
Moody’s Investors Service, one of the largest credit rating services in the world, has downgraded the credit rating for Gibson Brands, the Nashville-based parent of Gibson Guitar, Onkyo, Teac, KRK, Philips, Stanton and more. Moody’s has set their rating on Gibson Brands debt to Caa3, down one step from Caa2.
The move caused Wall Street investment analyst The Street to raise the specter of the possibility of Gibson Brands defaulting on their debt.
See why Moody’s says the Gibson Brands situation is unsustainable… [Read more…] about Is Gibson Brands Headed for a Default?
Gibson Brands announced Tuesday that it has hired Lee Cheng as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO) and executive vice president. This appointment takes effect immediately and follows a recent additional credit downgrade by the Moody’s Investor Service.