Maker of Fender guitars files for $200M IPO - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Maker of Fender guitars files for $200M IPO

NEW YORK (AP) - The company that makes Fender guitars is going public with a $200 million IPO.

The iconic guitar maker was founded in 1946 by Leo Fender, and Fender guitars were played by some of the world's biggest music stars, from The Beatles to Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton.

"The Fender brand in particular 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 Musical Instruments Corp. said it's the country's biggest seller of electric, acoustic and bass guitars. It also makes amplifiers and other instruments including banjos, ukuleles and mandolins, and sells instruments under other brands such as Squier, Jackson, Guild, Ovation and Latin Percussion.

About $100 million of the initial public offering's proceeds will go to pay debt, said the Scottsdale, Ariz., company.

Fender intends to list the "FNDR" symbol on the Nasdaq, but didn't say how many shares the company and its shareholders intend to sell or set a price target on its stock. The company also did not say when it intends to go public.

Fender said it posted net income attributable to common stockholders of $3.2 million in 2011, from a net loss of $17.3 million the year before. Revenue grew 13 percent to $700.6 million from $617.8 million.

J.P. Morgan and William Blair are managing the IPO.

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