FRONT of HOUSE — January 2012
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Gibson Buys KRK, Cerwin-Vega, Stanton; Partners with Onkyo

NASHVILLE — Gibson Guitar Corp. recently announced the formation of the Gibson Pro Audio Division after acquiring the assets of the Stanton Group, which includes KRK Systems, Cerwin-Vega and Stanton DJ.

Since announcing the formation of that division, Gibson announced a strategic partnership with Onkyo Corporation. The Onkyo partnership, Gibson said, will benefit the new pro audio division with access to new technological resources. Gibson, in turn, will provide Onkyo with its marketing resources and expertise.

As part of the Onkyo deal, Gibson will acquire a majority of Onkyo USA, which is Onkyo’s exclusive distributor for North America and a distributor for Central and South America. The move also makes Gibson the second-largest Onkyo shareholder.

With its strategic investment in Onkyo, Gibson chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz joins Onkyo’s board of directors. Onkyo, in turn, will invest in Gibson, and CEO and president Munenori Otsuki will take a position on Gibson’s board of directors.

In addition to Onkyo USA becoming part of Gibson’s new pro audio division, Gibson and Onkyo will form a Hong Kongbased joint venture focusing on design and development of new consumer audio products.

The Stanton Group acquisition paved the way for Gibson’s first big expansion into the pro audio market, with loudspeaker, monitor and electronics technology. At the time of that acquisition, Gibson cited Stanton Group’s R&D base as a key factor leading to the deal.

“Right now we have an extremely powerful brand that people recognize and value, but the musical instrument category is inherently limited because people who purchase instruments also need to know how to play them,” said Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar.

“This new division is perfectly aligned with our core. It expands our reach to fellow music lovers and allows us access to 20 in 20 consumers, instead of the one in 20 we currently hit. Stanton produces some of the best pro audio equipment in the world and we’re incredibly excited to be working with the very talented team at Stanton as we take Gibson into the future.”