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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive 2006 » Archive through February 09, 2006 » Has Alembic ever been offered to be taken over by a large coporate company « Previous Next »

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Username: terryc

Post Number: 29
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 7:53 am:   Edit Post

Have Alembic ever had an offer of a takeover(God forbid) I mean Fender went right down the toilet when CBS took them over
Intermediate Member
Username: j_gary

Post Number: 175
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 8:45 am:   Edit Post


Terry! Perish the thought!

Fender, Gibson/Epiphone, Trace Elliot, Marshall, Jackson, Acoustic, Sunn, Vox, Harley Davidson-(returned and saved). A quick short list of corporate greed takeovers.

Great question, the raiders appear to look for brands associated with quality. This allows them to hit the market with the quality name on trinkets made off shore for pennies. Then they flee before the bottom drops out.

OOOOOH, my head's starting to hurt. I gotta get my order in quick.
Username: daveo

Post Number: 17
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 11:13 am:   Edit Post

I have no idea whether or not a takeover has ever been mentioned, but I hope and trust that Alembic would never succumb to corporate greed. This is a small, family-run business that prides itself on uncompromising quality; something the larger companies just can't accomplish.
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 549
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 11:16 am:   Edit Post

I really don't see it happening either. Several things were made apparent during the mergers-and- aquisitions 1980s.
First, when you sell to a corportation or group of investors you have to have something in mind that you want to do with your money and time. If you're tired of doing what you're doing then selling may be a good idea. Nobody can see inside the Wickershams' heads but it doesn't appear that they are tired of making instruments, much the opposite, actually.
Second, as has been noted, public perception of the quality of the product would likely change. Even if F... (oops, I almost said the F word) did buy Alembic and kept the same level of quality, the public may think that it went downhill. There are many examples of that happening.
Third, this whole scenerio is a perfect reason for the Wickershams keeping things exactly as they are. Keeping Alembic production and sales at their present level or at a moderate growth rate makes perfect sense. Growing at a rate that allows Alembic to remain family owned leaves the Wickershams in complete control. I worked for a company that grew very quickly and had to go public to fund its expansion plans. Soon afterward the institutional investors were making strategic decisions for the company. The previous owner owned only about a third of the company and couldn't do anything about the direction of the company that he founded and built. I worked in the natural products industry from 1978 until 1996. I saw many companies sell outright or go public. Some were good moves and some were disasters.
We all would hate to see what would happen to Alembic after 5 years of F or G ownership. Nobody would say "Olympic?" anymore. Still, we would have have to say, "Oh, mine is a pre F Alembic." I kind of like it the way it is now, thank you very much.
Username: terryc

Post Number: 31
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 5:48 am:   Edit Post

Sorry j_gary, I had a mental breakdown there, and obviously richbass939 has had personal experience of it all.
I visited the Alembic factory in 2000 when I was in California and I had lost my job by the way of being taken over(although I was taken back on) but I loved the place, everyone was happy and I mean happy in their jobs..I think it was Chris who pestered them for about 5 years to get in there. I jokingly said do you need anyone, I would gladly make the coffee and sweep the floors.
Susan, Mica, Ron and everyone were so friendly, I mean how many of us have jobs that we really enjoy getting up every morning and going to..I certainly don't.
I hope Alembic stay independent until the world ends, corporate & shareholder greed always affect quality in every part of the company, lining the pockets of people who don't really care about the company but only of the accounts.
I am sure a lot of Alembic diehards such as myself would be very sad IF(I emphasise IF) it ever happened.
Long Live Alembic
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1631
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 7:17 am:   Edit Post

Hopefully, the Wickersham's will all lead long, productive lives and will keep on making 'em the right way for many years to come.

Long live the Wickersham's and long live Alembic!
Intermediate Member
Username: jseitang

Post Number: 139
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 3:26 pm:   Edit Post

HERE HERE!!! may alembic live on for 10 thousand years!!!alembic
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 66
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 4:27 pm:   Edit Post

I'll add my cheer to that as well. We're all incalculably indebted to Alembic -to the Wickershams and all the fine folks they employ- for the extraordinarily wonderful and unique instruments they make for US, and the immeasurable impact -largely unrecognized by "the masses" to be sure- that they've had on the "musical community.

There is simply NO way to adequately or credibly attempt to state or measure how positive their contribution to existence, to musicians and the musical community, to the medium and legacy of music... is. A LONG list could be delineated, but it would almost seem silly as it could still only be an understatement.

But though they are humble, they also certainly clearly have a warrented pride in their accomplishments, and how special and appreciated they are. It seems to me that this is why they do what they do, and that the idea of giving up this wonderful and unique thing they've created... for money... well, I can't see it happening. What they have now is priceless, and could never really BE sold, nor could money give them anything worth what they have now. I believe this is the case, and I think THEY must surely see it this way. (But it's a belief, I'm not making a knowledge claim here, to be clear. I sure hope I'm right, though!)
Username: rogueman

Post Number: 5
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Monday, January 30, 2006 - 11:55 pm:   Edit Post

Don't say that! We just watched Winchester Arms, "the gun that won the west" close in CT last week. But they sold to Walmart. Alembics are different. I think the same names will be on those blue sheets for a long time to come. They love their craft and so do we. We will just have to buy more.
Username: terryc

Post Number: 57
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 3:45 am:   Edit Post

I am from the UK but Walmart bought a large supermarket chain called ASDA..now they own a gun company...looks like they have a helluva clout in the states.
Can you imagine that..taking an Alembic thru' the checkout and seeing the dollar signs mount up on your grocery bill(LOL)
Intermediate Member
Username: mpisanek

Post Number: 143
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 4:08 am:   Edit Post


Walmart does have a hell of a lot of clout in the US. When it even thinks of opening a store, anywhere, all the local merchants shudder in fear! When Walmart changes prices, it affects not only the local area, but the whole US. Consumers over here don't seem to have the same drive to go to the cheapest place to buy something, and pay attention to many other things like moral standards, what a company does for the local economy, and what a company stands for.

I'm not knocking walmart but their clout is massive!

It seems that all small companies in an industry that is dominated by a few large companies always struggle. Whether there is quality involved or not. Alembic quality is not even questionable. Look at companies like Bricklin, DeLorean, Laker, Peoples' Express. There are hundreds of examples of small companies trying to eek out some kind of subsistance in a marketplace. Some pay more attention to quality than others, and their products reflect this.

The almighty dollar really rules, and that is always the main reason for a merger or acquisition. It is always a possibility that a company will be taken over. In the case of a publically held company, it might even be against the wishes of the greater number of shareholders, but the few with the controlling shareholdings will make the decision, or the company taking over will buy up all shares and complete the takeover.

In privately held companies it is more dependant on things like retirement, health, happiness, goals, desires, and the interests of other family members. It is strength in all of these areas that makes a privately held company strong. Alembic seem to have an amazing amount of strength in these areas.
Username: terryc

Post Number: 58
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 6:33 am:   Edit Post

Alembic's commitment to the customer is 100% plus..and I think it is because of their exclusivity that helps them. When you buy one of their intruments whether new or old you are joining an elitist club. It is very re assuring to know that any takeover whether threatened or not is not going to happen.
Wonder how Mica and the family think about this thread..any comments??

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