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Gretsch & Fender Join Forces, Iconic Companies Ink Global Deal

Gretsch & Fender Join Forces, Iconic Companies Ink Global Deal

Monday August 19, 2002

Iconic Companies Ink Deal, Take Gretsch To Global Level

SAVANNAH, GA – Fred W. Gretsch Enterprises, Ltd. (Gretsch) and Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), proudly announce today that the two companies have entered into an agreement wherein Gretsch has granted FMIC the exclusive rights to develop, produce, market and distribute Gretsch guitars worldwide.

As part of the deal, which is effective as of January 1, 2003, FMIC will be responsible for all aspects of the Gretsch stringed instrument product lines and brand names, including Gretsch® guitars and basses, Synchromatic® guitars, Electromatic® guitars and Gretsch’s line of parts and accessories. Development of future new products, including Gretsch branded amplifiers, is also a part of the deal.

Citing FMIC’s success in worldwide sales, marketing and distribution as the reason for which it was considered a viable company to approach, Gretsch looks to expand its brand name awareness and market share with the help of FMIC’s established assets.

Gretsch Chairman Fred Gretsch and FMIC President & CEO Bill Schultz, have also had a long term mutual respect for one and other, and the decision to work together in expanding the reach of Gretsch products to a global level is a perfect fit for these two iconic manufacturers.

Explains Fred Gretsch, “Our goal as a family business has always been to enjoy a steady growth as a company without sacrificing our ideals. Today’s Fender shares that same belief, and the Gretsch name deserves the benefit of working with a company that will help achieve our goals while maintaining our long time standards of quality and integrity. That’s Fender.”

Beginning January 1, 2003, FMIC will take over existing Gretsch inventory and begin to market and distribute the product to its worldwide network of retailers and distributors.

Fred Gretsch has entered into a consulting agreement in which he will work with FMIC throughout the changeover, helping to create a smooth business transition and to ensure the integrity of The Gretsch Guitar Company’s 120-year heritage. He will also consult on product development and quality control, and he will continue to be an active part of Gretsch’s artist relations.

“These are very thrilling times for both Fender and Gretsch,” says Bill Schultz. “We are very much looking forward to working on expanding Gretsch’s reach around the world, and we are all excited that this will lead the way to the possibility of more American-made products in the future.”

About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the world’s foremost manufacturer of guitars, amplifiers, and related equipment. Since 1946, the name Fender has become synonymous with all things rock ‘n’ roll: from Buddy Holly to Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton to Kurt Cobain and everything in between. Fender’s iconic instruments such Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® are known the world over as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized among today’s guitarists and collectors alike. Corporate headquarters are located in Scottsdale, AZ, with manufacturing headquarters and the world-renowned Fender Custom Shop in Corona, CA. FMIC markets using the brand names Fender®, Squier®, Guild®, Benedetto®, Floyd Rose®, and Rodriguez®. For more information, contact Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, 8860 East Chaparral Road, Suite 100, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, 480.596.9690, or visit our Web site at

About Fred W. Gretsch Enterprises, Ltd.

The Gretsch family has been making fine musical instruments since 1883 and is now in the fourth generation of family ownership. For most of that time, Gretsch has designed and built some of the most appreciated and renowned guitars ever, from its acoustics and archtops of the 1930s and ’40s, to its groundbreaking electric guitars of the ’50s and ’60s. Today, Fred W. Gretsch Enterprises, Ltd. markets their products under the brand names Gretsch®, Synchromatic®, Electromatic® and Bigsby®. For more information, please contact The Gretsch Guitar Company at PO Box 2468, Savannah, Georgia 31402, or visit