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Gibson Brands Back In Business

Gibson Brands who generate around $15M in revenue in Australia has a new gig and a band of guitar loving executives running the Company which is set to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings on November 1.

The Company who nearly bought down Adelaide based Powermove following their disastrous move to sell Philips Audio, and Pioneer products which Powermove distributed in Australia is also the Company behind the Les Paul, Flying V and Epiphone brands.

Earlier this year the Company was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after being overwhelmed by the debt it took on to fund an ill-fated diversification into Philips headphones and Onkyo and Pioneer home entertainment gear.

KKR, the private equity group which built up a significant position in its bonds before the filing, will have a controlling shareholding once it exits bankruptcy.

On Tuesday Gibson announced the appointment of James “JC” Curleigh as president and chief executive officer. The former president of the Levi jeans brand for Levi Strauss described himself as a guitar enthusiast who already owned Gibson and Epiphone instruments.

He will be joined by Cesar Gueikian as chief merchant officer.

Mr Gueikian, a performer in several rock and heavy metal bands, founded Melody Capital Partners, an alternative asset manager with $1.5bn under management. He has a collection of vintage guitars including more than 30 Gibson’s.

The new hires were announced by Nat Zilkha, the KKR head of alternative credit who will serve as Gibson’s chairman.
Mr Zilkha’s own musical background includes several years as lead guitarist with Red Rooster, a band with which he recorded three albums and played at the Newport Folk Festival.

The company emphasised the new team’s experience with building brands, raising product quality, striking “meaningful partnerships” and delivering profitable growth.

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