Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gibson Guitar buys stake in Japan's Onkyo Corp

Gibson Guitar is continuing to push into consumer electronics with a new partnership with Japan based Onkyo Corporation. Gibson will acquire a majority share in Onkyo USA (the companies exclusive North American distributor) and become the second largest shareholder in Onkyo corporation. Henry Juszkeiwiczwill assume a chair on the Onkyo board.
"Onkyo makes some of the world's best audio equipment, and this partnership will give Gibson the ability to bring a deeper and more enhanced audio experience to music lovers around the world," says Juszkiewicz. "While people may be listening to more music, they are listening to it primarily in a severely compressed format. The aural disparity between a real system and compressed sound is vast, and as a result, they are simply not hearing tremendously rich sounds. With Onkyo, our goal is to bring the same exceptional experience artists demand in the studio to a larger consumer base."
"This partnership has significant positive implications for Onkyo as we are always seeking ways of creating new value," says Otsuki. "Gibson is a leading global company with a massive fan base, best-in-class products and superior marketing skills. Coming together in this way opens the door for amazing opportunities for both companies and, more importantly, fans of Onkyo and Gibson."
Onkyo is also investing in Gibson; Munenori Otsuki“Together, the two entities will form a Hong Kong-based joint venture focusing on design and development of unparalleled consumer audio products,” reads Gibson’s press release. “Through this alliance, Onkyo USA becomes the latest addition to the Gibson Pro Audio division, which already includes KRK, Cerwin-Vega! and Stanton,” will take a chair on the Gibson Guitar board. The two entities will create a Hong Kong based joint venture.
All agreements are subject to Japanese regulatory clearance, negotiation of definitive agreements and financing approvals of lenders.
Gibson also acquired Stanton. Stanton consists of KRK systems, Cerwin-Vega, and Stanton DJ among others. These acquisitions are indeed intriguing at the very least to this author. Gibson's diversification into the audio arena is fascinating. This begs the question; is Gibson's long term commitment to the musical industry starting to fade? Many of Gibson's current products are legacy lines with only one really ground breaking guitar currently. Gibson has one of the most iconic brands in the world, could they be making your TV in the future? These moves aren't new as FENDER has bought up a host of manufacturers - but most of these companies are musical instrument companies. However, Fender and VW have joined forces with Fender producing the stereo's in many new VW automobiles. Very interesting little bits of news...........
Could the recent Gibson moves be a parry to Fender's VW attack? Stay tuned!

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