Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has officially inked a “definitive agreement” to acquire PreSonus Audio Electronics, a “designer and manufacturer of recording and live-sound hardware and software solutions that solve real-world problems for working creatives.”
Los Angeles-headquartered Fender – which, along with other instrument companies, has enjoyed considerable growth since 2020’s start – just recently announced its buyout of Baton Rouge-based PreSonus Audio Electronics. Founded 26 years back by Jim Odom (currently a partner at “program delivery, business consulting and information technology company” Plexos Group) and Brian Smith (who serves as PreSonus’ VP of engineering), PreSonus “at this time” will continue operating independently, the parties relayed.
In addition to the aforementioned sales boost, 75-year-old Fender revealed that north of one million individuals had signed up for its Fender Play app amid the pandemic. Plus, a survey commissioned by the instrument manufacturer (targeting new guitar players) found that 72 percent of the 10,644 respondents were 13 to 34 years old.
Bearing in mind this influx of young guitar players and their use of digital resources to learn the instrument, Fender made clear in the PreSonus buyout’s release that it “envisions an ecosystem that seamlessly integrates hardware and software to create an effortless end-to-end experience for customers at all levels in their creative journey.”
Moreover, Fender CEO Andy Mooney in a statement touted the investment’s perceived potential in terms of inspiring and equipping “current and future generations of artists.”
“We are thrilled to welcome everyone on the PreSonus team to the FMIC family and excited about the future growth opportunities available to both companies,” said the former Walt Disney Company exec Mooney. “Our teams share the same passion for music, the same commitment to innovation and the same desire to inspire and equip current and future generations of artists.”
PreSonus founder and president Jim Odom, for his part, added: “After more than 25 years PreSonus feels it has found the right partner to support us as we continue our growth. We look forward to showing our current and future music community what this opportunity means for them.”
Moving forward – during the quick-approaching holiday season as well as the long term – it’ll be interesting to monitor the potentially far-reaching impacts of the influx of new guitar (and instrument) players that the latter 20 or so months have delivered. Interestingly, despite the ongoing return of crowd-based entertainment and other social functions, music-gear marketplace Reverb recently told DMN that its shoppers had logged north of nine million searches pertaining to “pro audio gear” through September of 2021’s end.
Plus, searches for keyboards and synths hiked 34 percent year over year during the same stretch, the Etsy subsidiary said, with almost 30 million searches for guitars. Gibson kicked off 2021 by acquiring boutique-amp company Mesa/Boogie, and Lego in September announced a 1,074-piece Fender Stratocaster set, complete with a guitar stand, amplifier, and accessories.