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IN BRIEF / MANUFACTURING

Gibson Guitar to Buy Baldwin Piano

November 02, 2001|Associated Press

Gibson Guitar Corp., maker of a prominent guitar brand, said it signed a letter of intent to buy the assets of the top keyboard manufacturer Baldwin Piano & Organ Co. Terms weren't disclosed.

Gibson will purchase the company from General Electric Co.'s GE Capital, which had obtained the right to sell the company under a bankruptcy agreement reached last month.

"Our acquisition of Baldwin will represent a new exciting chapter in two century-old musical instrument institutions," said Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and chief executive of Gibson.

Baldwin, based in Mason, Ohio, has been in business since 1862. The company owed Stamford, Conn.-based GE Capital nearly $31 million before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May.

Under terms of an agreement approved by the Bankruptcy Court in August, GE Capital retained the right to demand that Baldwin be sold if it had not repaid cash advances GE has made since Baldwin filed in Bankruptcy Court.

Last month, GE Capital bid $17 million for most of Baldwin's assets and agreed to sell them by Nov. 15.

Gibson, which was founded in 1894, owns such musical brands as Epiphone, Kramer, Slingerland Drums, Oberheim Keyboards and Maestro as well as its namesake guitars.

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