Last Call for Tape?

Mar 1, 2005 12:00 PM, Compiled by Sarah Benzuly

INDUSTRY RALLIES TO GET PRODUCT BACK IN STUDIOS

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Global supplier of pro audio/video/data magnetic tape products Quantegy ceased operations at its manufacturing headquarters (Opelika, Ala.) on December 31, 2004; the company is reportedly in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The facility's 250-plus employees were locked out of the plant and laid off, pending company restructuring. The company has hired Equity Partners Inc., a firm that specializes in facilitating the sale of financially distraught companies, to seek a joint-venture partner, equity investor or an entire sale of the business. If an investor cannot be found, Quantegy's assets will be liquidated.

Since the plant closure, studios have been frantically searching for any last bastion of analog tape to keep current sessions rolling. The Village's Jeff Greenberg told Mix that SPARS — an industry organization of which he is on the board of directors — is arranging a run of tape from Quantegy; specifically, SPARS president Andrew Kautz (Emerald Entertainment Group, Nashville) is speaking with Richard Lindenmuth, Quantegy's president and chief executive on procuring runs of specific analog tape as quick as possible. “We are starting a limited and affordable production of 499 and GP9 tapes,” Greenberg said.

According to Kautz, “We're working with Richard Lindemuth, Quantegy's president and COO, to organize runs of specific analog tape denominations. Our goal is to get analog tape back in the pipeline as quickly as possible, keeping tape available and affordable as a creative tool for our profession.” Though a specific amount of tape was not specified, a run of various analog tape lines (including GP9, 456 and/or 499) will be coming from Quantegy's manufacturing plant. “We also want to help Quantegy, a company that has been a vital part of our industry for many years,” Kautz continued. “They have provided, not only tape, but moral support and a sense of community in our charitable events. In this trying time, we want to show them that the recording community cares about their company and their product, as well as ensure that they remain a viable part of our industry. We hope to hear from many in the industry who want to participate in this endeavor to maintain the flow of analog product.”

To participate in the SPARS-authorized Quantegy tape-order process, call 800/752-0732 and reference SPARS. Your order will be taken and added to the list and you will be contacted within a few days with a time frame for fulfillment of that order.

It has also been reported that Quantegy has a prospective buyer: Race Cannon, who lives in Opelika, Ala. Cannon told WTVM (Columbus, Ga.) that he is looking for feedback from Quantegy employees laid off and has set up a Website for this purpose at www.cannonventures.com/quantegy. Cannon said that once the bankruptcy filing is complete (Quantegy reportedly owes around $25 million to creditors), he will offer a fair asking price.

Mix will continue to investigate this story and publish updated information at www.mixonline.com.






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