World famous guitar maker Fender has filed with U.S. regulators today to raise $200 million as an initial public offering, reports Reuters.
Fender Musical Instruments Corp, the first guitar maker to mass produce the solid-body Spanish style guitars used by Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, among others, was sold to the CBS group in 1965 after having been founded in the 1940’s by creator Leo Fender. When CBS sold the company Fender’s then CEO William Shultz teamed up with some distributors and bought his company in 1984.
Today, a majority stake is owned by the private equity firm Weston Presidio, while the Shultz family still owns about 6 percent of the company.
The move into the public market comes as a means to try and pay off some of the debt the Scottsdale, Arizona based company has amounted, despite the $700.6 million in net sales reported last fiscal year.
“It is a leader in its field. I think there will be demand for its stock,” said Josef Schuster, founder of Chicago-based IPO investment firm IPOX Schuster, when speaking to Reuters.
Fender has not confirmed the number of shares to be sold and at what price.
William Blair & Company will act as the independent underwriter in the IPO offering.
The guitar manufacturer will apply to the list on the NASQUAD under the title “FNDR.”