The Gibson Guitar Company, which began in Kalamazoo over 100 years ago, filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday.The company founded by Orville Gibson in 1902 as the "Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd", has been struggling financially in the past few years. The bankruptcy will  mean a change in management and control of the iconic company.

A restructuring support agreement with senior secured noteholders will help it repay bank loans while going through a "change of control" transaction, according to papers filed Tuesday with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware. The petition estimated up to $500 million in debt, and the lenders have agreed to an operating, or "debtor in possession," loan of up to $135 million to fund operations. - Bloomberg via MSN

The same report says Gibson sells more than 170,000 annually, worldwide, but it's acquisition of "its Gibson Innovations business, acquired in June 2014 from Koninklijke Philips NV, was the source of its financial woes, according to a court statement from Brian J. Fox, a managing director at Alvarez & Marsal who will serve as the company’s chief restructuring officer."

According to wikipedia, Gibson Innovations is the Philips brand, TEAC Corporation (Teac and Esoteric brands), Onkyo Corporation (Onkyo and Pioneer brands), Cerwin Vega and Stanton, as well as professional audio equipment from KRK Systems, pianos from their wholly owned subsidiary Baldwin Piano, and music software from Cakewalk.

Gibson abandoned Kalamazoo in the mid 1980's, with the former Gibson factory resurrected as Heritage Guitars. Plans for the iconic site of the factory were announced in 2017.


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