Nashville, Tenn. - Gibson Guitar,
the musical instrument manufacturer, will enter into a strategic partnership
with Onkyo in which it will acquire a majority of Onkyo USA and become the
second largest shareholder of Onkyo Corp. in Japan.
Onkyo USA is the parent company's exclusive
distributor for North America and a distributor for Central and South America.
Onkyo will also invest in Gibson, and the two
companies will form a Hong Kong-based joint venture focusing on design and
development of consumer audio products.
In addition, Gibson chairman/CEO
Henry Juszkiewicz will take a seat on Onkyo's board of directors, and Onkyo
president/CEO CEO Munenori Otsuki will take a position on Gibson's board.
Gibson also owns KRK,
Cerwin-Vega! and Stanton.
The partnership is subject to
Japanese regulatory approval, the negotiation of definitive agreements, and
financing approvals from lenders, the companies said.
In November, Onkyo restated its forecasts for sales and earnings for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, reducing its sales forecast to 51 billion yen ($665.1 million) from a previously forecast 57 billion yen and forecasting a 300 million yen ($3.91 million) net loss compared to a previously forecast net profit of 200 million yen ($2.61 million), according to Reuters. The exchange conversions are based on a rate of $1=76.7 yen.
"This partnership has significant
positive implications for Onkyo as we are always seeking ways of creating new
value," said Onkyo's 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