$500m debt sees guitar brand Gibson file for bankruptcy in the US

For decades, Gibson has produced the guitars under brands such as Les Paul and SG, favoured by the likes of Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, Jimmy Page and Slash.
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Gibson, the brand and guitar maker behind some of the world’s best-known rock music, has filed for bankruptcy in the US.

The Nashville-based company has made the move after being weighed down by $500 million in debt.

For decades, Gibson has produced the guitars under brands such as Les Paul and SG, favoured by the likes of Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, Jimmy Page and Slash.

The firm has been brought down by debt linked to the acquisition of its overseas consumer electronics business, where sales have been in sharp decline. This division will now be wound down under plans which will allow the core guitar making and audio business to continue.

The company plans to exit the ‘chapter 11’ bankruptcy arrangement in September and has secured $135 million in financing to fund operations during this period.

Chief executive Henry Juskiewicz, said that customers can continue to rely on Gibson to provide unparalleled products and customer service.

Gibson was founded in 1894 and has become associated with musical pioneers from Robert Johnson and BB King to David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend and more.

Gibson sells more than 170,000 guitars a year in more than 80 countires and has the top market share in premium electric guitars. Sales for electric guitars climbed by 10.5 per cent to $122 million in the year to January.


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