Fender adds another string to bow with flotation

FENDER, the famous guitar maker, is going public in a $200 million (£130m) flotation on the Nasdaq exchange in New York.

The USA’s biggest seller of electric, acoustic and bass guitars was founded in 1946 by Leo Fender and Fender guitars have been played by some of the world’s biggest music stars.

Left-handed Jimi Hendrix played his right-handed guitar upside down and Pete Townshend of The Who smashed a few. Paul McCartney, who played a Hoffner bass in his early days, said he bought it because he couldn’t afford a Fender.

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The firm also makes amplifiers and other instruments including banjos, ukuleles and mandolins, and sells instruments under other brands such as Jackson, Guild and Ovation.

The Arizona-based company was sold to television network CBS in 1965 and then bought by its management backed by some of its distributors in 1984.

Private equity firm Weston Presidio now owns a 43 per cent stake.

The firm said about $100 million of the initial public offering’s proceeds will go to pay debt.