At the recent NAMM Convention, Gibson Guitar and TC Group announced that the two companies are planning to merge. Denmark-based TCG comprises the Lab.gruppen, Tannoy, TC-Helicon, TC Electronic and TC Applied Technologies brands, while Gibson operates a number of MI divisions. The announcement marks a preliminary agreement between the two companies, and was made by both Gibson Guitar chairman/CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz and TC Group CEO, Anders Fauerskov, who will remain based in Europe and serve as COO of the new combined Gibson Guitar Corp, writes Mel Lambert.
The two firms expect to finalize the merger by the end of February 2008. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. TC Group's annual turnover is quoted at $125 million while Gibson, being a privately-held company, does not publicize its financial performance.
TCG formed in 2002 when the former TC Group of companies merged with TGI PLC, which included Tannoy, Lab.Gruppen and Martin Audio. The amalgamation created a multi-brand company that could combine the necessary expertise and market access to take advantage of the trend towards convergence of digital and acoustic technologies.
Gibson Guitar is well known for producing a wide range of fretted instruments, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins and banjos. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and headquartered since 1984 in Nashville, Gibson brands includes Epiphone, Dobro, Oberheim, Baldwin, and Wurlitzer.
Fauerskov confirmed that the new merged company would be named Gibson Guitar Corporation, and that the merger will involve the exchange of shares held by the owners of Gibson Guitar - essentially Henry Juszkiewicz and David Barryman, who runs the Epiphone operation - and The TC Group's three primary owners: Anders Fauerskov/CEO, Kim Rishoej/CT0 and company founder, plus Gert Frederiksen, in addition to some 15 lesser shareholders. As Fauerskov explains: "Henry Juszkiewicz, as CEO of the new planned operation, will head up our externally oriented operations, including HQ functions, which will directly report to him." Fauerskov, as COO, will be in charge of all operational units and sales organizations within the combined company, including the Gibson family of brands. "All independent operating units within the new combined company will continue to operate under their current brand names," Fauerskov says.
"The bottom line is simple: Henry and I want to continue growing our business and become dominant in all of the markets [in which we are active]," Fauerskov concludes. "The opportunities ahead are very exciting for us. This merger will create exciting new opportunities for all employees within TC Group and Gibson and, in particular, fantastic new tools for our markets and customers."
"This merger will revolutionize the music industry for many years to come," Juszkiewicz considers. "The synergy between the two companies will allow us an enormous advantage in the development of new audio technologies and brings together two of the world's most powerful brands."