Fender, iconic guitar maker, files for IPO

Fender Musical Instruments Corp. plans to raise as much as $200 million in an initial public stock offering, the company said today in a regulatory filing, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. The No. 1 seller of electric, acoustic and bass guitars said it planned to use the proceeds from its offering to repay debt and to make acquisitions, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Fender makes Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars, along with ukuleles, mandolins, guitar amplifiers and percussion instruments, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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According to the Los Angeles Times:

Fender guitars have long been identified with the California car and surf culture, and were played by bands such as the Surfaris and the Beach Boys. At Woodstock in 1969, when Jimi Hendrix broke into his haunting rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," it was a white Stratocaster at his fingertips.

Last year the company sold $701 million worth of guitars and other instruments, reporting a net income of $19 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Most were through independently owned music stores, the LA Times reported.

“We intend to extend our reach to a broader global consumer base,” Fender said, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Currently, Fender sells its products in 85 countries, and some 47 percent of Fender’s sales occur outside the US, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

The company plans to trade its shares on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol "FNDR,” the LA Times reported.

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