Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is a privately held company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, mainly known as one of the world’s top guitar manufacturers. Leo Fender founded the company in 1946 in Fullerton, California. Andy Mooney has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fender since 2015.
Mooney is the former chairman of Disney Consumer Products. In addition to popular guitar models produced under the Fender brand, such as Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision Bass, the company also produces a variety of guitars, musical instruments and musical equipment through other companies it has acquired, including EVH guitars, Charvel guitars, Jackson guitars and Squier.
- Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is a privately owned American company that produces stringed instruments and amplifiers.
- Fender Musical Instruments also produces various guitars, musical instruments and musical equipment through other companies it has acquired, such as EVH Guitars, Charvel Guitars, Jackson Guitars and Squier.
- In January 2020, Servco Pacific Co. acquired TPG Growth’s shares in Fender after ten years of joint holdings. After a sale and a new purchase agreement, Servco became the company’s new majority shareholder.
Fender’s EVH brand is the personal electric guitar, amplifier and accessory product line of legendary rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Every model and device produced under the EVH label is designed to reproduce the unique sound of Van Halen. The EVH Stripe series uses original artwork designed by Van Halen to imitate the look and sound of the guitar he played in the 1980s. Van Halen is known for tinkering with his amplifiers, and the EVH amplifiers are designed to produce the same sound that Van Halen has tried to achieve over the years. The EVH equipment is manufactured at Fender’s facility in Corona, California.
Wayne Charvel worked at Fender for three years in the early 1970s and began working on Charvel’s Guitar Repair in 1974. His custom finishes, repairs and upgrades earned him a good reputation as a musician in his Southern California store, and he started making complete electric guitars. In 1978, he finally sold the company to Grover Jackson.
Under Jackson’s leadership, the Charvel brand became famous. Jackson persuaded many of the most popular rock guitarists of the 1980s—such as Van Halen, Bonjovi’s Rich Sambora, and Kiss’ Vinny Vincent—to play Charvel. At the height of the company’s success, Jackson sold Charvel to a Japanese manufacturer in 1989, and Fender acquired Charvel in 2002.
The Jackson guitar, also created by Grover Jackson, is considered a wilder, high-performance alternative to its more traditional cousin, the Charvel brand. With its bold and bright design, the Jackson guitar became the instrument of choice for many heavy metal guitarists in the 1980s, such as Def Leppard’s Phil Collen, Machine Head’s Phil Demmel, and Megadeth’s David Ellefson and Chris Broderick. Jackson guitars have evolved over time. The company claims that it is the longest-running true custom guitar shop in the United States, and many of its original employees are still producing high-quality musical instruments. Fender acquired the Jackson brand when it acquired Charvel in 2002.
Squier Guitars produces and sells low-priced guitars for beginners, representing the low end of Fender’s wide range of instruments. Although Fender’s other brands of electric guitars cost thousands of dollars, many Squier models cost less than $200. Under the Squier brand, Fender produces cheap versions of its popular Stratocaster and Telecaster models, and so on. Fender was originally a string manufacturing company that produced violins, banjos and guitars. It acquired Squier in 1965 and began producing Squier guitars in 1982.
Bigsby Electric Guitar Company
Bigsby Electric Guitar Company was established in the 1940s, in the early days of modern electric guitars. In 1965, the Gibson Guitar Company acquired the company, and in 1999 the Gretsch Company acquired Bigsby. Twenty years later, Bigsby was sold to Fender Musical Instruments Corp on January 8, 2019. Bigsby tremolo is very popular with guitarists. In addition to guitars, it is also widely used in various musical instruments. According to Fender’s website, Bigsby is operated as an independent company under FMIC’s Specialty Brands.
Fender acquisition and cooperation
In addition to the above five companies, Fender has also acquired many other brands, including Guild Guitar Company, Sunn Amplifier Company, SWR Sound Corporation, Tacoma Guitars and Kaman Music Corporation. Most recently, in January 2019, Fender acquired Bigsby Electric Guitar Company.
In January 2020, Servco Pacific Co. acquired TPG Growth’s shares in Fender after ten years of joint holdings. After reaching a sale and purchase agreement, Servco became the company’s new major shareholder.