Gibson taps into ‘Cool Japan’ with $52M purchase

Nashville-based company now owns 54% of TEAC

Gibson Guitar Corp. announced to the purchase of a 54 percent stake in the TEAC Corp. of Japan — a deal worth an estimated $52 million and that continues the Nashville-based company’s move beyond its instrument focus.

Founded in 1953 in Tokyo, TEAC specializes in audio and visual equipment and in data storage equipment. The purchase announced Friday is the second Gibson has made in Japan. In January of last year, Gibson and consumer audio giant Onkyo announced a strategic alliance through which both companies made investments in each other.

Gibson said in a prepared statement that the TEAC transaction with two investment funds run by Phoenix Capital “reflects the high level of confidence of the board and senior management” in the Japanese market.

“The implications of integrating these diverse elements into the Gibson family of brands are far-reaching, and further enhance Gibson’s diversification into the lifestyle arena,” the release stated.

Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson's chairman and CEO, said the company is a strong believer in “Cool Japan,” a phrase coined about a decade ago to describe Japan’s emergent status as a cultural superpower.

“We look forward to not only contributing to the global understanding of the ‘Cool’ products emanating from Japan in the music area, but also promoting the excellence of Japanese innovation in the industry,” Juszkiewicz said in the release.