Gibson Pro Audio Buys Majority Stake In Onkyo
Gibson Guitar has bought a majority stake in Onkyo USA to add more resources to its new Pro Audio division. Under the agreement, Onkyo, known for its economical, yet value-added receivers and home theater systems, will provide the Pro Audio Division with “substantial technology resources,” according to the company, while Gibson will provide Onkyo with its marketing fuel. In early December, Gibson acquired the Stanton Group, in a story FutureMusic was first to report on, which was put under the umbrella of the new Gibson Pro Audio division.
Through the new Onkyo venture, Gibson will 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 make a “strategic investment” in the company, and Gibson Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz will be given a position on the Onkyo board of directors.
Likewise, Onkyo will invest in Gibson, and CEO and President Munenori Otsuki will take a position on the company’s Board of Directors. Together, the two entities will form a Hong Kong-based joint venture focusing on design and development of consumer audio products for the Gibson Pro Audio division.
“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,” says 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.”
“This partnership has significant positive implications for Onkyo as we are always seeking ways of creating new value,” says 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.”
The Future: An absolutely fascinating play into the world of home entertainment for Gibson…when reading Juszkiewicz’s remarks, two concepts come to mind, Gibson branded home entertainment systems and a higher-fidelity portable consumer product.