Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Some very interesting news for musicians came down the pike today. Fender Musical Instrument Corp., one of the dominant forces in the US musical instrument business, is up for sale. Reported asking price: 500 million bucks US. Anyone wanna loan me that? Fender is known for producing such iconic instruments as the Fender Stratocaster and Precision Bass, along with some of the most popular amplifiers of the last 50 years, like the Twin Reverb. Fender also owns the Squier, Guild, Sunn, and Charvel/Jackson brand names, as well as having a production/distribution deal with Gretsch.

The current ownership took over the company in 1985 when they bought it from CBS(yes, that CBS), who had purchased the company from founder Leo Fender in 1965. Hmmm, does that mean whoever buys it this time will sell if off in 2025? It will also be interesting to see what the period just ending ultimately gets called. As you might imagine the era when Leo owned the company became known as the pre CBS era amongst guitar folks, especially collectors. But there hasn't been a commonly used name for the current ownership period.

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