Fender is to float a portion of its shares, the guitar maker confirmed last week. The musical instrument firm hopes to raise up to $200 million in a share sale, mainly to fund an expansion into India and China where interest in the Stratocaster and such like is at an all time high.
Originally launched by Leo Fender in 1946, the Fender company was a division of CBS for 20 odd years, before being bought by the late William Schultz and current board member William Mendello in 1985, making it an independent privately owned company. New investors have been brought in over the years, and according to Bloomberg San Francisco-based Weston Presidio Capital is currently the biggest single shareholder.
The guitar firm saw sales grow by 13% last year, and in its IPO documents the company says that its brand is still “closely associated with the birth of rock n roll and has a strong legacy in music and in popular culture”, adding that post the share sale management intend to “extend our reach to a broader global consumer base”.