Last month, we wrote about Nashville, Tennessee based Gibson Guitar’s financial troubles and the possibility of them filing for bankruptcy. Well, it appears that more troubles are brewing. Bloomberg reported that a group of the company’s largest bond holders are pushing for a change in the company’s leadership.
A New Plan…with Some Backlash
The bondholders, who are being advised by the investment bank PJT Partners Inc., are wanting to restructure the company; giving them a majority ownership in the company and removing Gibson’s long-time president and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. According to unnamed sources, the bondholders do not believe that Gibson’s earnings will be sufficient for the company to restructure or refinance the company’s mountain of debt that comes due later this year. The sources stated that PJT Partners Inc believes that investors and creditors are reluctant to advance new money to Gibson as long as Henry Juszkiewicz continues to control the company.
The bondholders claim to own and control more than two-thirds of Gibson’s outstanding debt that comes due this August. Gibson is under pressure after loading up on debt for an ill-fated expansion into consumer electronics. Credit analysts have raised doubts that the company can repay borrowings coming due as soon as July.
Not surprisingly, CEO Juszkieicz sees things very differently. According to Juszkieicz, Gibson is actively working on a massive refinancing of the company’s debt with investment bank Jefferies Group LLC.
Some bondholders are “not looking to get paid back and get interest, but have other intentions that are not necessarily my intentions,” Juszkiewicz, 64, said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “They’re trying to do everything possible to put the company in a worse position, and get us in a situation where they’re exclusively talking to us. But factually, we’ve made our interest payments, fulfilled our obligations, and our intent is to pay back all bondholders.”
Juszkiewicz, who has run Nashville, Tennessee-based Gibson for more than 30 years, says he has no plans to give up majority control and brought back the well-respected financial guru Benson Woo for a second tour of duty as his chief financial officer.
Cynthia T. Lawson is the Managing Partner of the Bond & Botes Law Offices location in Knoxville, Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Science from East Tennessee State University, and a Juris Doctorate from University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. She currently serves as a Mentor for the Moment in bankruptcy.Read her full bio here.