NME Festival blog: Gibson guitars could be facing bankruptcy

Iconic guitar brand Gibson could be facing bankruptcy, if new reports are to be believed.

The company produce the iconic Les Paul and SG lines, and are favourites of players from Jimmy Page, to Slash, to Carlos Santana and beyond. They were founded over 100 years ago, in Michigan U.S.A.

As the Nashville Post report, “the situation facing the iconic Nashville-based music instrument maker, which has annual revenues of more than $1 billion, is far from normal. CFO Bill Lawrence recently left the company after less than a year on the job and just six months before $375 million of senior secured notes will mature… On top of that, another $145 million in bank loans will come due immediately if those notes, issued in 2013, are not refinanced by July 23rd.

Responding to the news, Gibson Brands CEO Henry Juszkiewicz outlined their plans to the Nashville Business Journal: “We have been monetizing assets like stock holdings, real property and business segments that could not achieve the level of success we expected. By monetizing these assets, we can reduce debt and generate funds to contribute to business segments that are thriving. It is important to our business to get back to the financial success we had to achieve the best financial terms in the refinancing of our company.”

Back in 2016, Gibson teamed up with The Who’s Pete Townshend to create a replica of the guitar he smashed up on stage. 

Townshend smashed his original Les Paul Gold Top Deluxe on stage during The Who’s show at the 15,000-capacity Boston Garden arena in 1976, with its shattered remnants now on display at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.


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