You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Maker of Fender guitars to sell stock

Richard Drew/Associated Press/File 2008

Steve Winwood (left) and Eric Clapton played Fender guitars at a 2008 concert in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

NEW YORK - Fender Musical Instruments Corp., the maker of legendary guitars strummed by the likes of Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton, filed papers Thursday for a $200 million initial public offering.

Founded in 1946 by Leo Fender, the company created the Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars in the 1950s.

Continue reading below

The “Strat,’’ a favorite of Hendrix and others, went on sale in 1954. It had a sturdy, all-wood body that could stand up to repeated abuse, making it popular in the rock world.

Fender said it is the country’s biggest seller of electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. It also makes amplifiers and banjos, ukuleles, and mandolins. It sells instruments under other brands such as Squier, Jackson, Guild, Ovation, and Latin Percussion.

Fender had several owners before making its push to the public markets. In 1965, Leo Fender sold the company to CBS Inc., which sold it to an investor group 20 years later. Private equity firm Weston Presidio now owns 43 percent of Fender. Fender’s distributor in Japan, Yamano Music, holds the number two stake, with 14 percent of the company.

The IPO will help Fender pay down debt of $246.2 million. Fender said it plans to use about $100 million of the proceeds to repay debt.

Fender said revenue could get a boost from growing interest in guitar-based music in emerging markets like China, India, and Indonesia. But the popularity of other types of music, such as rap, could hurt demand for its guitars.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.