At the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention in Anaheim last week, two significant pieces of corporate news surfaced amid all the product introductions. Denmark-based TC Group is merging with American instrument manufacturer Gibson Guitar, while Japan’s Roland has agreed to acquire a majority share of music software developer Cakewalk.
Roland and Cakewalk have been strategic partners since 1995, with Roland holding global distribution rights outside the United States since that time. Roland often bundles Cakewalk products like Sonar with its products, which include the Boss and Edirol brands. As part of the new arrangement, new Cakewalk products will be branded “Cakewalk by Roland.” The software firm recently adopted the Roland Ethernet Audio Communication (REAC) protocol to enable recording of 40 channels of audio to a PC via Ethernet.
The TC Group, which includes the Lab.gruppen, TC Electronic and Tannoy brands, will merge with Gibson, the iconic guitar manufacturer. In addition to its namesake guitar line, the Gibson family includes Epiphone, Steinberger, Slingerland, Oberheim, Baldwin and Wurlitzer among its brands. The announcement represents a preliminary agreement between the firms. TC Group CEO Anders Fauerskov will stay in Europe as COO of the new combined Gibson Guitar. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the companies expect to finalize the deal by the end of February.