US acoustic guitar specialist Cordoba Music Group is set to buy the Guild guitars brand from Fender (FMIC) for an undisclosed sum. The takeover represents a major step up for Cordoba and comes as the first major announcement from FMIC’s newly installed interim CEO, Scott Gilbertson.
“It was important for us to find a great steward to continue the important legacy of Guild guitars,” said Gilbertson. “We have found a great fit in Cordoba Music Group, a company committed to quality and with impressive US-based production capabilities.
“Guild is an iconic American brand with a rich heritage and we’re truly excited and honoured to be the ones to move it forward. It’s a great complement to our current position in the acoustic guitar market and provides opportunities for growth in new categories,” said Cordoba Music Group president Jon Thomas. “We will continue to make instruments of exceptional quality in the USA, and look forward to giving one of the industry’s great American brands a new home.”
According to Cordoba, sales of Guild guitars will continue as usual during the transition process. Upon finalisation of the sale, Cordoba Music Group is expected to begin production of some models in Cordoba’s factory in Oxnard, California. Fender recently announced the closing of Guild’s US manufacturing facility, the former Ovation plant in New Hartford, Connecticut.
Founded in New York in 1953 by Alfred Dronge, Guild was acquired by Fender in 1995. The Guild brand has suffered from major upheavals in recent years with production having been variously sourced from Fender’s Corona facility, the Fender acquired Tacoma plant in Washington and, finally, the former Ovation factory in Connecticut.
Cordoba currently has no distribution in the UK.