The company that makes Fender guitars plans to go public with an initial public offering valued at $200 million. Founded in 1946 by Leo Fender, the iconic guitar maker “is closely associated with the birth of rock ‘n roll and has a strong legacy in music and in popular culture,” the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fender guitars were played by some of the world’s biggest music stars, from The Beatles to Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton.
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In the filing, Fender Musical Instruments said it’s the country’s biggest seller of electronic, acoustic, and bass guitars. The company also manufactures amplifies and other instruments, including banjos, ukeleles, and mandolins. Fender also sells instruments under other brands like Squier, Jackson, Guild, Ovation, and Latin Percussion.
Roughly half of the proceeds from the initial public offering — about $100 million — will go to pay off debt. The company hopes to list under the symbol FNDR on the Nasdaq, but hasn’t said how many shares the company and its private shareholders intend to sell, or at what price, nor did the company say when it intends to go public. J.P. Morgan and William Blair are managing the IPO.
Fender posted net income attributable to common stockholders of $3.2 million in 2011, after posting a net loss of $17.3 million the year before. Revenue grew 13 percent to $700.6 million, from $617.8 million in 2010.
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