As we hurtle headlong into the a new decade – the 2020s – it’s a good time to pause and take stock of some of the major events of our industry’s recent history by ranking the Top 10 Strata-gee stories of 2019 based on total page views. This ranking shows just what stories drew the most attention of Strata-gee’s eminently intelligent and inquisitive readers.
Onkyo USA announced this week that it will become a retailer of Sonos wireless music systems – selling the company’s wireless music systems on Onkyo USA’s website. The company also says it will distribute the brand nationally as well.
See more on Onkyo’s partnership with Sonos…[Read more…] about CEDIA 2019: Onkyo USA Says It Will Become a Retailer of Sonos, a Distributor Too
We seem to be in a week of big deals. First, we learned that SnapAV had acquired Control4, then we learned that the original founder of Paradigm has acquired back the Paradigm, Anthem, and Martin Logan brands from the private equity company that had bought the company from him some time back. Now we learn that Sound United, owner of Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, HEOS, Classé, and Boston Acoustics has entered into an agreement with Onkyo Corp. to purchase Onkyo’s premier lineup of brands, including: Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite.
But does Sound United’s purchase of Onkyo make sense?…[Read more…] about Sound United to Acquire Onkyo’s Audio Division
The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust regulatory unit, after a 17-month investigation of online price fixing and other illegal anti-competitive practices has levied a fine of €111.2 million ($130 million) against four prominent consumer electronics brands, including Pioneer Corp., D&M Holdings Inc. of Japan, Koninklijke Philips NV of the Netherlands, and AsusTek Computer, Inc. of Taiwan. The companies were alleged to have imposed fixed or minimum online prices for their products.
See more on this strong action by European regulators… [Read more…] about EU Hits Pioneer, D&M, Philips & Asus with Fines for Price Fixing
In Restructuring, Company Scales Back to ‘Core Competencies’
All the way back in 2012, Onkyo Corp. and Gibson Guitar Corp. came together to partner in what both hoped would become an entity where the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. Just months after their announcement, Onkyo forged ties to another Japanese audio brand, Teac/Tascam – just as Gibson stepped in to buy a majority share of them…and the combined entity began to grow.
Little did they know that just six short years later, Gibson, the investor in Onkyo, would implode into bankruptcy – forced to extricate itself from its Onkyo aspirations. Onkyo was hit as well, losing its Gibson investment – forcing them to reassess their direction. We now learn that Onkyo has sold off its entire European operations to an accessory distributor known as Aqipa GmbH.
See more on this surprising announcement by Onkyo… [Read more…] about Gibson Investment Gone, Onkyo Sells Off European Operations
Hundreds of Employees Facing Pink Slips
Gibson Brands, a major provider of musical instrument and consumer electronics products, is in the midst of a widely reported liquidity crisis. With more than $500 million dollars in notes coming due late this summer, the company is seeking a knight in shining armor to ride in on a white horse with a big bag of money to refinance the company’s crushing debt.
To make the company appear attractive to a lender or investor, at the end of February the company sold off its shuttered Cakewalk division and laid off about 15 employees from its famous Custom Shop. Now we learn the company is planning more substantial layoffs across the board.
See more on this latest development at Gibson… [Read more…] about Gibson, After Light Pruning, Plans Global Layoffs
The news and events surrounding troubled guitar and consumer electronics company Gibson Brands, Inc. seem to be moving at a rapid pace with almost daily revelations as the company struggles to survive ahead of a massive debt due-date just a few short months away. We learned over the last few days that Gibson has sold their recently shuttered Cakewalk Inc. division and laid off staff in their famous Custom Shop operation.
See more about the continued dramatic developments surrounding Gibson… [Read more…] about Gibson Sells One Division & Cuts Staff in Another
Financials Show Sales & Profits Continue to Slide
Gibson Brands CEO Henry Juszkiewicz continues to profess confidence that the company will be able to successfully refinance their over $500 million debt before a mid-year maturation comes due. Telling the Nashville Post that the company is going through a little “spring cleaning,” Juszkiewicz says the company already dropped their Cakewalk music software group, and other brands in their portfolio are next to go. But a financial report to bondholders shows continued deterioration of both sales and profits, suggesting that simply pruning a few brands from the portfolio may not be enough to attract new investors or lenders.
See more on the dire situation at Gibson Brands… [Read more…] about CEO Says Gibson Will Dump Brands
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…
Downsizing Factory & Dilution of Onkyo Ownership
Recent developments have thrust Gibson Brands back into the spotlight once again – a spot that CEO Henry Juszkiewicz doesn’t particularly enjoy, unless he’s there on his own terms. But this time, two tidbits of news have conspired to bring Gibson, and their financial challenges to the fore. And as we try to digest all of this, it’s clear that Gibson is continuing to show signs of strain due to sluggish results from its aggressive diversification into consumer electronics jeopardizing its ability to deal with looming huge debt payments on the loans used to acquire CE brands.