Gibson Guitar has today (January 4th) announced a strategic partnership with consumer audio company Onkyo, as part of its diversification into the music and audio lifestyle arena.
Onkyo will aim to offer Gibson’s newly formed Pro Audio Division substantial technology resources, while Gibson will set out to provide Onkyo with its marketing experience.
The partnership will see Gibson acquire a majority of Onkyo USA (Onkyo’s exclusive distributor for North America and a distributor for Central and South America) and become the second largest shareholder in Onkyo Corporation. Gibson will also make a strategic investment in the company, with chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz taking a position on the Onkyo board of directors.
Similarly, Onkyo will invest in Gibson, and CEO and president Munenori Otsuki will be given a position on the company’s board of directors. Together, the two entities will form a Hong Kong-based joint venture, focusing on the design and development of consumer audio products. Through this alliance, Onkyo USA becomes the latest addition to the Gibson Pro Audio Division, which already includes KRK, Cerwin-Vega! and Stanton.
“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,” commented 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.”Article continues below
“This partnership has significant positive implications for Onkyo as we are always seeking ways of creating new value,” added 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.”
All agreements are subject to Japanese regulatory clearance, negotiation of definitive agreements and financing approvals of lenders.