Gibson Guitars Files For Bankruptcy To Save Company

first_imgGibson has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric guitars for years. Throughout their century-plus of existence, countless musicians–from famous rock stars to local barroom heroes–have used Gibson guitars to create the soundtrack to our world. Now, after years of wrestling with declining sales and increasing loan debt, Gibson has filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a turnaround plan that shifts equity ownership stakes to noteholders in an effort to keep the company afloat.As Bloomberg reports:Support from senior secured noteholders will help Gibson repay bank loans while going through a “change of control” transaction, according to papers filed Tuesday with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware. The petition shows the company owes as much as $500 million and that lenders will provide a new loan of up to $135 million to keep Gibson in business.The change in control will give noteholders equity in a new company, replacing current stockholders such as Chief Executive Officer Henry Juszkiewicz. According to court filings, current noteholders include Silver Point Capital, Melody Capital Partners and funds affiliated with KKR Credit Advisors.Various factors may be affecting the shrinking electric guitar market. Some feel it’s a result of a shift in the music zeitgeist away from guitar-driven music and toward more digitally-produced styles like EDM and hip-hop. Others speculate that the increased durability and decreased prices–while great for those looking to buy and sell used gear–have begun to cripple the company’s ability to sell new instruments.Gibson representatives have noted that the company’s offshoot consumer electronics brand, Gibson Innovations, has been the main source of their recent financial downfall. Juszkiewicz purchased a line of Japanese consumer electronics in 2014 as part of a plan to rebrand and relaunch Gibson Guitars as a “music lifestyle” company. The move was intended to help the brand diversify and adapt to a changing market that had led to decreased sales. However, in addition to the largely negative reaction to the move from Gibson’s core customers–actual musicians–the purchases burned through capital and the saw lukewarm consumer response. This left the company with looming loan debts and not enough earnings to cover them. The restructuring will also allow the instrument business to “unburden” itself of this struggling portion of their business, which the company hopes will help them get back to their core musical instrument business.“Over the past 12 months, we have made substantial strides through an operational restructuring,” said Mr. Juszkiewicz in a press release, “We have sold non-core brands, increased earnings, and reduced working capital demands. The decision to re-focus on our core business, Musical Instruments, combined with the significant support from our noteholders, we believe will assure the company’s long-term stability and financial health. … Importantly, this process will be virtually invisible to customers, all of whom can continue to rely on Gibson to provide unparalleled products and customer service.As Bloomberg notes, “Juszkiewicz, who has found himself at odds with creditors in recent months, will continue with the company upon emergence from bankruptcy ‘to facilitate a smooth transition,’ according to the agreement. Court papers call for a one-year consulting deal and compensation package for Juszkiewicz.” There is no official word on whether or not he will remain with the company following the transition.While filing for bankruptcy is hardly on any business’s bucket list, this restructuring deal seems to be a best-case scenario for Gibson’s customers. Not only will the company live on, but they’ll also get back to focusing on what they do best–making musical instruments.[H/T Bloomberg]last_img read more

The Latest: Penguins say Pittsburgh won’t be NHL hub city

first_imgMaine’s Bowdoin College and UMass Boston are canceling their fall sports schedules due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Bowdoin President Clayton Rose cited limitations on campus attendance in an announcement detailing the school’s plans for the fall semester. UMass Boston interim Chancellor Katherine Newman said in a memo that the school will focus on remote instruction in the fall with no on-ground student activities.Both schools compete in Division III. Bowdoin has 31 varsity teams. UMass Boston has 18.Rose said there may be an opportunity for the winter, spring and possibly fall athletes to participate and compete in some form after Jan. 1. But there will be no elimination of programs or furloughs or cuts to athletic administration, staff or coaches.Newman said she is hopeful conditions will improve enough by October that the school will be able to open some on-campus programs. The karate worlds are held every two years. The scheduled 2022 event has also been put back one year to 2023 in Budapest, Hungary.___Another tennis player has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition series organized by Novak Djokovic in Serbia and Croatia.Viktor Troicki says he and his pregnant wife have both been diagnosed with the virus. The former top-20 player from Serbia played against Djokovic in Belgrade during the first part of the two-leg tour.Djokovic was the face behind the Adria Tour. The series started in the Serbian capital and then moved to Zadar, Croatia, last weekend. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Pittsburgh is out of the running to be one of the two hubs for the NHL when the league resumes its season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Associated Press The Penguins submitted what the club called an “aggressive” bid to be a hub city and was among the 10 finalists — including seven in the U.S. — announced by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. They announced Tuesday they weren’t selected, joining the Columbus Blue Jackets.Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse said simply being a finalist reflected the city’s support of the team and the NHL.The Penguins are among 24 teams that are in Phase 2 of the league’s Return to Play program, which consists of small group workouts without coaches. Those 24 teams will eventually be part of an expanded playoff format, with 12 teams committed to each of the two host cities.Canada’s federal government last week said it would allow the league to quarantine internally, making Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton realistic possibilities.___ June 23, 2020 The Latest: Penguins say Pittsburgh won’t be NHL hub city ___Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says two unidentified players have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered.Tomlin said Tuesday the players tested positive at some point earlier this year. Both players went through what Tomlin called “the appropriate protocol” and have since returned to work.Neither player visited the team facility at any point during the offseason. The Steelers, like the rest of the NFL, have been meeting and training remotely rather than in person since mid-March.___ There were no social distancing measures observed at the matches in either country.Three-time Grand Slam semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria said Sunday he has tested positive for the virus. Borna Coric played Dimitrov on Saturday in Zadar and said Monday he has also tested positive.Djokovic left Croatia after the final was canceled and was tested in Belgrade. The results are expected soon.___More AP sports: and ___This year’s karate world championships have been postponed for one year because of the coronavirus pandemic.The World Karate Federation says the championships will now take place from Nov. 16-21, 2021, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.The governing body says “the well-being and safety of competitors and fans could not be ensured amid the ongoing epidemic of COVID-19.”Karate was set to make its debut at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo but that event has also been postponed by a year. The U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame has postponed its 2020 induction ceremony to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.This year’s induction ceremony had been scheduled for Sept. 19-20 in Frisco, Texas, where the Hall of Fame is located.Members of the 2020 and 2021 classes will be inducted together in a ceremony next year.Voting for the 2020 class was completed earlier this year but not yet announced.Former U.S. national team goalkeeper Hope Solo, dismissed from the team following the 2016 Olympics, was among the first-time eligible players on the ballot. U.S. national team members Brad Davis, Whitney Engen, Herculez Gómez and Clarence Goodson also were among 14 first-time eligible players on the 42-person ballot.last_img read more

Mark Woollard: How Pragmatic Solutions laid the foundations for landmark igaming platform deals in 2020

first_img Submit StumbleUpon Altenar: Supporting expansion plans in Denmark and Portugal August 20, 2020 Share Global Gaming adds sportsbook extension to Ninja property August 25, 2020 Share Mark Woollard, Business Development Director at Pragmatic Solutions, reflects on some of the company’s big breakthroughs for 2019. This includes getting the UK certification for its PAM platform, as well as its GLI-19 certification – a “gold standard stamp” which covers best practice standards across a number of key regulated markets.Meanwhile, Woollard also explains how Pragmatic Solutions can minimise some of the key challenges facing operators in 2020, specifically reacting quickly to regulatory changes, before teasing that it will be announcing “quite a few flagship deals” in Q1 2020.SBC: How would you sum up last year for Pragmatic Solutions?MW: It’s been a very successful 2019 for Pragmatic Solutions. We’ve certified the platform in new markets including the biggest one for us, the UK. We’ve also gained the GLI-19 certification, which is basically the gold standard stamp for platform solutions. And then we’ve really been going out into the market trying to change, or enlighten people, as to what Pragmatic Solutions is. We’re owned by the same group as Pragmatic Play, a company people are very aware of, so we’ve been going out and showing people that we can give the same level of comfort and quality as the Pragmatic Play content, but on the platform side. It’s been a lot of demos for the platform, a lot of conversations and we are confident these will turn into landmark deals with big tier-1 operators in early 2020.SBC: What does the UK certification of your PAM platform mean for the business?MW: The UK certification is big for us, because it opens up the possibility to work with many more operators. Many either started in the UK, or are UK-based, especially historic sportsbook operators so being able to serve that market or take these operators into new markets is a really positive step. In previous conversations, it was a hurdle for us that we had our Malta certification and GLI-19, but when the question of the UK came and what we could do there – that was a stumbling block which we are now over. We can now offer the full package, not just taking them into new and exciting markets but also overhaul their existing platform in the UK which is still, obviously, one of the biggest markets in the world.SBC: Why have the big breakthroughs come in 2019?MW: The platform has been in the development process and start-up phase since 2016. Platforms are a very technical business to get right so what Pragmatic Solutions wanted to do was go into the market with a few key operators that had either been with the business or operating for a while so we could develop the platform. And then 2019 has been the real push to go out and start selling the platform to more operators and onboarding new clients. But also creating some awareness as to what our strong selling points are and how we’ve built a product that is purely client-driven – which is quite a rare occurrence in this market. It’s for sure a long sales process for a solution because an operator will usually take around six months to decide who they want to go through a tender process, how they want to operate, what markets etc.. And then there’s obviously a period of time where you’re migrating from your current platform to a new one. It’s a much longer process than in the games business, so what we’ve been doing in 2019 is going out to shows and demonstrating what we can do, how we can help and start that process with an operator. We’ve had quite a bit of success with that, so in Q1 2020 we will be announcing quite a few flagship deals.SBC: How much of a help is the connection to Pragmatic Play in the sales process?MW: The companies work extremely separately, so there’s no crossover between a Pragmatic Play employee and a Pragmatic Solutions employee. They’re owned by the same group business but what Pragmatic Play has done for us in 2019 is just help the awareness of who runs the company on a whole, which definitely helps when you’re talking to operators. But they’re run by very separate businesses – for example one of the cornerstones of the Pragmatic Solutions platform is that operators choose their own pathway to what they want to do – they’re not locked in to working with a specific sportsbook or casino provider. That rings true for Pragmatic Play too, if people want to take this content it’s of course integrated, but if you want to take content from a direct competitor it’s completely your choice. So it’s definitely helped with awareness, and potentially opened up some conversations, but it’s not something we actually use in the sales process because they are such separate businesses.SBC: On the sportsbook side, which suppliers do you have agreements with?MW: It’s purely customer choice but we do have BetConstruct and Altenar integrated in the platform which can be offered to customers – that’s because two of our clients requested those sportsbooks. But an operator decides who they want to work with for any of the products – sports, bingo, live casino etc. We then go out on an operator’s behalf and integrate that into a platform for their use. They do the direct deal with that product provider and we integrate very quickly – it’s trying to give operators much more comfort that they can go out and work with who they want, and they’re not locked in to working with what we could call a home product system. That’s the key difference between us and pretty much all of the platforms in the market – the operator can choose who they want to work with and we just integrate, there’s no opinion from us. We can offer them if we’re asked on who is good and who isn’t, but generally we try to keep agnostic in that and allow operators to make the decision.SBC: What are the biggest operators you’ve been serving so far?MW: The most well-known in the European space is; they’re growing extremely quickly. We will be announcing in early 2020 some quite large operators coming over to the platform but at the moment they are confidential. What we expect in 2020, especially with the UK certification, is for our portfolio to grow significantly with renowned brands which will only strengthen our current market position. At the moment, we have about half a billion in GGR going through the platform but not through recognisable brands in the marketplace. It is now proven on a scalability level, and for 2020 we will make sure it’s proven with some big names so that people can draw comfort from the fact that they made the decision to come to the platform. It makes it faster for your smaller and medium tier operators to come over as well.SBC: What is your assessment of the UK market going into 2020? How can Pragmatic Solutions minimise some of the key challenges facing its operators?MW: The platform, because it’s been built in recent years, is built on a very good technical base so it’s fully API-driven, it’s very modular. If there’s changes to regulations, we can adapt and make changes extremely quickly compared with others. If you are working with a specific product, which decides not to be compliant, look at other markets external to the UK or is too slow to achieve compliance, we can integrate new products quickly. What we’re trying to say with the UK is if things change quickly we can adapt and move with it, which we don’t feel like other platforms can replicate because they’re built on legacy code and maybe they’re not concentrated specifically on the core PAM platform. They have a sports product which needs to be made compliant before they go away and do the bit on the core platform, which makes the UK a big opportunity for us. There’s going to be a lot of M&A still going on, a lot of consolidation across the market. For those with two or three platforms across six or seven different operators, if you were to get everything running off one system you’d then have just one technical team. If you’re planning to consolidate your other operations, why not do it with the platform too.SBC: And what about outside of the UK, what are the other key target markets?MW: I think markets like Sweden and Denmark, where we aim to be certified. We’re seeing quite a lot of operators going into this market. We’re definitely looking at the North American market as well, we were out at the G2E show and had a great response from a lot of operators who have gone with other platforms, but are not necessarily too happy with what they can do with them. So we’re having a lot of conversations there. Obviously the UK has been big for us, but not just because of the UK market but also for many of the operators that work in the UK but want to go and test out a smaller European market – like Sweden, Denmark for instance etc. They’re looking at our platform to go and do that for them.So the European markets are obviously a target but we don’t necessarily target countries per se, we try and look at a general overview of what the market is doing and then make sure the platform is certified, but we are still operator-led so if an operator wants to go into a market where we’re not certified we try and do this as quickly as possible for them.SBC: And finally, what is next in the pipeline for Pragmatic Solutions?MW: We’re always developing the platform. We’ve built in the last year some very powerful segmentation tools which have gone down very well with our operators meaning you can segment players down to some very specific points of how they interact with your website. We’re always working on bonus tools depending on what the operator wants. For example, we can apply free spins across all our game providers in the slots space as long as they allow it to be done. And we’ve also built in a leaderboard system which people seem to like – particularly the Scandi operators – so we’re trying to build out the platform. The top-notch technology we used in the past 18 months will deliver high GGR clients and tier-1 operators to ensure a great start for 2020. Hopefully, once we release who we’re going to be working with, it’s more about onboarding new clients and helping operators to get to the scale they want. Obviously, everyone wants to see growth on their operation and we genuinely feel like with our platform they can do that because it takes away the headache of platforms and usually how slow they are to make changes. 2020 is going to be a big one for us.Woollard has also signed up to take part in the first SBC Charity Boxing Championship, organised in partnership with Oliver’s Wish Foundation, will see some of the biggest names in the gaming industry going toe-to-toe in the ring to raise thousands of pounds for good causes. He will be taking on Bryan Blake, CEO & Founder at Hexopay, in a three-round bout. Related Articles TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020last_img read more

Flames beat Sharks in battle for first place

first_imgCALGARY, Alberta — Bill Peters guaranteed it. His team followed through and delivered.In a conversation with Pete DeBoer Monday morning, the Flames coach guaranteed that his team would bring its A-game to the rink in Monday’s showdown for first place in the Pacific Division, a response to the squad’s 1-2-2 record over its previous five games. The Flames showed just how much offensive fire power they have, beating the Sharks 8-5 on home ice Monday night.In doing so, the Flames extended their …last_img

Social media fuels fear of flying

first_imgThe rise of social media is fueling the public’s perception that flying is not safe.Thanks to mobiles, Facebook and other platforms, all aircraft problems, even the most insignificant, are broadcast to the world.Yet last year the airline industry had the second safest year on record.Every airline passenger or visitor to an airport is now a photojournalist or commentator. Last year more than two trillion digital photos were taken, 85 per cent of them on mobile phones.Putting that number in perspective, in the history of print film only 2.5 trillion photos were taken, which means that almost as many photos were taken last year than in the entire history of the analogue camera business.And if it’s not a photo, it’s a video with 300 hours uploaded to YouTube every minute and 5 billion videos watched each day. The last few seconds of the FlyDubai Boeing 737 crash in Russia in May captured on CCTV and the chaotic Emirates 777 passenger evacuation videos from August have been watched millions of times.Add to that coverage the extremely popular Mayday (Air Crash Investigation / Air Diasters) TV series is in its 16th season (140 episodes) with a 17th announced for another 10 episodes.The series is seen in over 150 countries and in 26 languages and is a huge hit with a fascinated public.Compounding the perception that flying is not safe is the understandable continuous coverage of missing flight MH370, which disappeared almost three years ago, in the Southern Indian Ocean off Western Australia.Numerous MH370 debris finds by wreck-hunters such as Blaine Gibson garner massive attention across the globe with each discovery fueling new theories as to what happened to the aircraft. And the long-running investigation into the shoot down of MH17 in June, 2014, is still to reach a conclusion as to the culprits. According to German airline Lufthansa’s research, up to 70 per cent of passengers have some fear of flying, and for more than 30 per cent of travellers an airline’s safety record is the major consideration when booking.But the industry’s numbers for 2016 are amazing.Only 19 fatal accidents involving 325 deaths when the industry carried 3.7 billion passengers on 36 million flights, according to the International Air Transport Association estimates.Flashback 52 years ago, there were a staggering 87 crashes killing 1597 globally when airlines carried only 141 million passengers — just under 4 per cent of today’s number.There is no question flying is safer and one of the reasons is the International Air Transport Association’s Operational Safety Audit introduced in 2003.Since then, 409 airlines have completed the comprehensive audit and those airlines’ crash rate is 77 per cent lower than airlines that do not do the audit.Completing IOSA every two years is a condition of joining IATA, the leading industry body.An IOSA audit examines every aspect of an airline’s safety — on the ground and in the air — and ensures it has industry best practice with a continuous expert safety review process. It also ensures the airline has the systems to keep up with the latest safety developments.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — October 18, 2017

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ryan Martin 10-18-17No complaints here at midweek. We have dry weather on the docket again today, and more is on the way. Warmer starting to assert itself too, thanks to strong south and southwest winds that started cranking up yesterday. Now, all of this should not come as any kind of surprise, since we have been talking about this set up going back into last week. Sun dominates today through the weekend, evaporation rates have maxed out and with these winds, we have excellent drying forecast through the weekend.However, if you caught our final above statement, you should be clued in that we are making some changes to the forecast early next week, and they center around our next system’s arrival. That front looks to be moving sufficiently slower this morning to make changes to our forecast, and that may not be the most ideal set of circumstances for us. A slower front allows more moisture to draw up off of the Gulf of Mexico. That could lead to higher rain potential here. Now, if you are looking for the silver lining…the good news is that the slower front means we have no threat of rain at all here on Sunday. In addition, strong southwest winds will continue ahead of that front, so windy, warm and dry weather means you should keep combines going full tilt Sunday, and we likely don’t even see much of a dew overnight Saturday night into Sunday. Rains develop in NW Ohio early Monday morning, and then spread across the rest of the state through the day. Rains can be heavy in spots, thanks to thunderstorm development that seems likely at this time.  We are raising rain totals for this system Monday to .25”-1” with coverage at 90%. It would have been better if this front were to follow its original course and just rip through. We likely would have seen significantly less rain. The map above shows rain totals through Monday night.We also know this front is stronger thanks to the characteristics of the air coming in behind it. The air mass on the backside is cool for Monday night, Tuesday and even into Wednesday. Because of that we think there is a good chance that clouds hold over the state through midweek. Some models are suggesting a damp feel with spits and sprinkles in there, but we are not looking for any additional precipitation behind the stronger front at this time. WE do think that conditions will not be conducive to good drying before Thursday, even without new precipitation. Full sunshine finally returns Thursday through next Saturday, and that will be where we get our warmth to build, and drying to step up.The extended pattern looks cooler as well, particularly at month end, when our next front is likely to move through. That front brings .25”-.75” to most of the state the 30th but should be gone before Halloween night. A second upper level wave moves through the great lakes around November 1st, with a few hundredths to .25” of moisture potential. That system looks like more of a product of colder air than anything else. But, this late extended period forecast is subject to change, perhaps more than normal. Why? Well, we are expecting another tropical system to be churning off the southeast US coast around the same time. Where it goes, what it does and it’s strength will be key, as larger storms generally tend to slow and disrupt the flow pattern across the US, sometimes back into even the corn belt. Stay tuned.last_img read more

Satisfactory start for our athletes in London

first_imgIt was more or less a satisfying start for the Indian athletes in London with two of them – Irfan KT and Krishna Poonia – both finishing in the top 10 in their respective events.This is the first time that two Indian track and field athletes have finished in the top 10 at the Olympics and I expect Vikas Gowda to join them soon.In the 20km walk on Saturday, Irfan’s 10th place finish was a huge achievement not only for himself but also for the sport.His feat is likely to raise the profile of longdistance running and walking in India.Finishing the race in one hour, 20 minutes and 21 seconds was a creditable effort by Irfan, and by far the best performance by an Indian walker at the Olympics, although Zora Singh did manage an eighth-place finish way back in 1960 at the Rome Olympics.Irfan has proved that he is a world-class athlete, although the other two walkers – Gurmeet Singh and Baljinder Singh – failed to make their mark. Irfan was in the leading pack from the start and it proves that he is capable of challenging the top walkers of the world.While there was improvement from Irfan, Seema Antil in the discus throw proved unlucky as she failed to qualify for the finals, missing the cut by one position. She finished 13th in the qualifying round and the top-12 throwers made it to the next stage.For Krishna Poonia, the effort in the finals, where her best throw was recorded at 63.62m, was mediocre, although she deserves every accolade for her seventhplace finish in a tough field.advertisementHowever, our women discus throwers have to constantly throw around 67m if they are to earn laurels at world-class competitions.Krishna hardly improved upon her qualifying effort of 63.54m in the finals, but variations are always there. Nevertheless, I must congratulate her as she has proudly earned the title of an Olympic finalist.Focusing our attention on Monday’s qualification round in the men’s discus, we will be seeing Vikas in action. He has been a consistent performer and his latest training stint under former world champion John Godina has made a substantial difference in his performance this year.If Vikas manages to cross the 65m mark, it will be an achievement for him and I expect him to qualify for Tuesday’s finals. If he does qualify – and hopefully, he would – I expect him to finish in the top six.(The writer is an Asian Games gold medallist and a finalist at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics)last_img read more

9 months agoLiverpool midfielder Henderson: Salah thrives off critics

first_imgLiverpool midfielder Henderson: Salah thrives off criticsby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveJordan Henderson says Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah thrives from his critics.The Egyptian has quietly gone about his business this season after an incredible 2017/18 campaign, having bagged 14 goals from 22 Premier League games.However, Salah has been accused of diving at times this season, but it is something that Henderson believes motivates the nifty attacker.”He will do things that some fans might not see that often but they should enjoy him because he is world class,” the midfielder told UK newspapers.”It was a penalty, a clear penalty. There’s nothing to talk about that.”In terms of Mo, I would think away grounds would be appreciative of what they see. The things he does, I’m sure he is a joy to watch.”If they try to put pressure on him, they will only make him better. It won’t bother him. He’s so strong, I know he is.”The more people are against him, the more he will want to prove them wrong. I’m not worried about that. When he goes to away grounds, people should appreciate him. He will do things that people want to see.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Hungarys president signs into law disputed new labour rules

first_imgBUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary*s president says he has signed into law disputed amendments to labour rules which greatly increase overtime hours employers can request from workers.President Janos Ader said Thursday in a statement that he had examined the law approved last week in Parliament and found it in-line with Hungary*s constitution and European standards. It doesn’t put workers* rights at risk, he added.Protests against the policy and other measures of Prime Minister Viktor Orban*s government have been taking place for over a week. There have been occasional clashes between protestors and police.Ader said any concerns about the changes to the labour code “cannot be a barrier to the workers* blessed Christmas, a peaceful time between the two holidays and a calm new year.”The Associated Presslast_img read more