Officials with Gibson Brands, Inc., maker of the famed Les Paul and ES-335 electric guitars, released a statement saying the company has met all “current obligations to the bondholders, is in the process of arranging a new credit facility to replace the bonds, and fully expects the bonds to be refinanced in the ordinary course of business.”
Said Juszkiewicz: “We are excited and pleased that Benson with be coming back to the Gibson Brands family. He has a great knowledge of the industry, our current businesses and is liked and respected by everyone at Gibson and with whom he dealt. We are confident he will contribute to moving the company forward.”
Woo had previously served with Gibson in 2016. He replaces Bill Lawrence.
The CEO said the company is “streamlining” and will focus its Philips brand consumer audio business on those products that have “greater growth potential,” as well as eliminating product segments that fall below expectations.
While Gibson has been struggling to re-pay debt, an officer with Moody’s Investors Service has told the Nashville Post that the company’s core guitar business remains sound.
“The core business is a very stable business, and a sustainable one,” Kevin Cassidy, of Moody’s, told the newspaper. “But you have a balance sheet problem and an operational problem.”
Gibson was founded in 1894 and makes musical instruments, as well as consumer and professional audio. Juszkiewicz acquired Gibson in 1986 with fellow investors. The company has a portfolio of over 100 well-recognized brand names.