There is some big non-political news today, and that's lovable amp company Mesa/Boogie has been acquired by Gibson Guitars.
Randy Smith, who founded Mesa/Boogie 51 years ago, will join Gibson in the role of Master Designer and Pioneer of Mesa/Boogie, according to a press release.
Smith seems excited about the prospects. “I’m 75 years-old and still at work every day. This is my art and many of our crew have worked along my side for 30 to 40 years. As we witnessed JC and Cesar transform Gibson, we saw kindred spirits sharing common values and a fierce dedication to quality. Today, Gibson’s guitars are the best-ever and when they asked if we’d like to become Gibson’s Custom Shop for Amplifiers, we envisioned a perfect collaboration that would expand our outreach while preserving our legacy beyond my time. Gibson realizes the unique value of what we’ve all built together and this next chapter in the Mesa/Boogie story is a continuation of that dream. I am so fortunate for this partnership with the new Gibson after 50 years of doing what I love. It’s been the ride of my life . . . and it ain’t over yet!”
James ‘JC’ Curleigh, President & CEO of Gibson Brands, says “At Gibson we are all about leveraging our iconic past and leaning into the innovative future, a quest that started over 100 years ago with our founder Orville Gibson. Today this quest continues with the addition of Mesa Boogie into the Gibson Brands family, along with the visionary leadership of Randy Smith and his Team who, for the past 50 years, have created an iconic and innovative brand that has stood the test of time. This is a perfect partnership based on our collective professional experiences and passion for sound.”
Tool guitarist Adam Jones, who uses both lines of products, was also quoted as saying “This is very exciting, I can’t think of a better company to carry the Mesa Boogie torch, and I can’t wait to see what we can do together. I have been using Mesa Boogie amplifiers and cabinets for a long time. I use them at home, in the studio when I record and on stage when I play live; they go across all of my needs.”
In May 2018, we reported that Gibson filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reached a $135 million restructuring agreement with senior secured noteholders to pay back their bank loans, which the Chapter 11 filing reveals is around $500 million. Chapter 11 isn't necessarily a death sentence for a company, and in this case it wasn't. Bloomberg is reporting that private equity firm KKR & Co. is has stepped in to lead Gibson, but under the condition that CEO Henry Juszkiewicz be removed from the board.