Fender acquires Presonus: the music tech company carousel turns again

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Fender acquires Presonus, makers of the Studio One DAW, and more: a giant step for Presonus or not, the future will tell us.

Guitars are actually not a topic on Synth Anatomy. However, there was a big bang in this music tech corner yesterday that I have to report about. The US-based guitar manufacturer Fender (FMIC) has acquired Presonus Audio Electronics, Inc, the makers of the Studio One DAW, and numerous very solid hardware products. This news was not predictable, it was a big surprise for many, even for music tech media publishers.

This takeover means: new times are dawning for Presonus. We’ll see what changes. Such takeovers can do good things, but can also destroy company DNAs. We remember Gibson’s acquisition of Cakewalk in 2013. 4 years later the brutal end. In 2017, they ceased the activate development and production of Cakewalk branded products. Software titles like SONAR or the still excellent Z3TA + or Rapture Pro were no longer supported.

Fender acquires Presonus

Another well-known big player that bought up a lot is Apple. They bought E-magic, Camel Audio, Redmatica … All the know-how and technology that you can now find in products like Logic Pro, Mainstage 3 … Advantages are only for mac people because they can get the technology very cheaply. Logic Pro (ex Emagic) with Alchemy (ex Camel Audio) for an unbeatable price of $199.99. Windows people came away empty-handed. No VST version, no Windows support …

Presonus Fender

The question that I ask myself here: how will Presonus continue under the direction of Fender. Everything as before or are they drifting more and more towards subscription service? Fender certainly has a plan why they bought Presonus. The investment must also pay off. We’ll see whether this ends in more subscriptions or more in budget-friendly products.

With such acquisitions, the company structures also like to change. Will, there be changes in support, fewer or more staff … Here too there are good and unpleasant examples. I hope a lot that everything stays the same. That’s something the community will also really like. But we will see. I’m a little afraid for Presonus, especially when you look back at the other companies like Cakewalk.

Press Release

HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. (Nov. 1, 2021) – Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement of merger with PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana based brand is the leading designer and manufacturer of recording and live-sound hardware and software solutions that solve real-world problems for working creatives.

“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 Andy Mooney, CEO Fender Musical Instruments Corp. “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”

“I would like to extend our utmost gratitude to our loyal Baton Rouge and Louisiana community that have supported PreSonus for the last two decades,” said Kevin Couhig, Chairman of PreSonus. “It has been wonderful being a part of this incredible journey with PreSonus. I’m excited to see what the future holds going forward”

“After more than 25 years PreSonus feels it has found the right partner to support us as we continue our growth,” said Jim Odom, Founder/CSO PreSonus. “We look forward to showing our current and future music community what this opportunity means for them.”

“PreSonus and Fender’s combined vision, the way we see the future of music creation, and the fundamental alignment of goals has made this an exciting idea since the first conversation,” said Jim Boitnott, CEO PreSonus.

For more than 75 years, Fender has been committed to creating tools supporting artists. With each technological advancement, the way that people create and record music is constantly evolving. While most guitar and bass players still plug into amplifiers, many also plug their instruments into interfaces, using virtual amps and effects to create their sounds. Players of all levels are spending more time online than ever before and using a variety of products and technologies to learn, practice, jam and perform, record and share. This modern workflow has expanded the traditional signal chain to include capturing and distributing creative content to the world. Fender 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, and joining forces with PreSonus makes that possible.

Founded in 1995 by Jim Odom and Brian Smith, PreSonus designs innovative audio products that provide professional sound quality and features without sacrificing affordability. Throughout its history, PreSonus has built innovative tools for musicians, content creators, producers, and audio engineers. Today, PreSonus is a leading designer and manufacturer of both recording and live-sound hardware and software solutions that solve real-world problems for real working creatives.
  • Completion of this merger is subject to U.S. regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. At this time, FMIC and PreSonus will continue to operate as separate entities.
  • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal counsel to Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
  • PreSonus was advised by Robert W. Baird & Co. and legal counsel was provided by Butler Snow LLP.

More information here: Presonus 

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  1. typo:
    In 2017, they cased the activate development and production of Cakewalk branded products

    In 2017, they ceased the activate development and production of Cakewalk branded products

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