Gibson Brands (Long #Dadjoke-infused Media Reports)

As we’ve previously discussed, the music industry is in a bit of flux. This week, news reports resurfaced that Gibson Brands, the manufacturer of guitars used by rock legends like Jimmy Page (“swan song”), Keith Richards and Justin Bieber (indeed, he plays the Gibson Hummingbird, but we just wanted to check to see if you were still paying attention), is struggling. The media had a bit of fun with it:

HereProactive Investors:

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And hereAV Club:

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And then there is Reuters which “jams” all kinds of stuff in:

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Guitar puns. Ugggh.

We previously noted that Gibson Brands had received an extension of time to report its financials to its private equity overlord, GSO. Clearly those financials are out and literally every media outlet on the planet got a peek.

From what we could gather, both top and bottom lines suffered - the former down 22% and the latter down 45%. The company’s senior secured notes traded down a few points on the news; they mature this summer and there is a springing lien to the company’s GSO-dominated term loan if the notes aren’t taken or refinanced out. The biggest pain point appears to be the various “electronics” related businesses the company tacked on in recent years as musical instruments actually showed some EBITDA growth in the face of revenue decline. With revenue down across the board, however, the notes are of increasing concern. And the noteholders (led by KKR) are advisored up to negotiate a workout with the company. That is, if the company is of the view that there’s such a need.

Late Tuesday, GIbson Brands CEO Henry Juszkiewicz denied all of the reports and indicated via press release that a plan was underway to salvage the brand. Perhaps Mr. Wexler’s optimism is pervasive.