BY RADIM MCCUE
For months the big speculation in the music products industry has centered on rumors that Fender Musical Instruments was going to sell some of the brands it owns and distributes through its Kaman Music subsidiary. Now we know the rumors are true.
Drum Workshop, Inc. and Fender Musical Instruments announced today that they have agreed to a sale of the brands Gretsch, Gibraltar, Kat, Latin Percussion, Toca, and others, including Ovation Guitars, from Fender to Drum Workshop. Distribution of Sabian Cymbals in the United States, which previously was handled by Kaman Music Corporation, is also part of the transaction. In a separate statement, Kaman Music announced that it will continue its distribution business. Kaman is one of the largest distributors with 200 brands and more than 20,000 products on hand.
“This is an amazing opportunity to extend our passion and commitment for the art of drumming,” said Chris Lombardi, President and CEO of Drum Workshop, Inc. We’re excited to welcome these legendary American brands to the DW family.”
For DW Drums, this is an enormous step up in its aspirations. Founded in 1972, the family owned and operated manufacturing company also boasts the award-winning DW Drums brand, as well as Pacific Drums and Percussion (PDP). Details of the purchase are forthcoming, however it has been announced that DW Drums manufacturing operations will remain in California, Gretsch drum production will continue in South Carolina and LP’s offices will stay in Garfield, New Jersey.
“We are extremely proud of our team’s effort to nurture and grow each of the individual brands and are enthusiastic for their future,” said Fender Music’s interim CEO and board member Scott Gilbertson. “We recognize the strategic opportunity for DW and are confident that they will be champions of the brands moving forward.”
“It promises to be a very exciting year”, continued Lombardi. My father (DW Founder, Don Lombardi) and I are whole-heartedly dedicated to these already well-established brands and see a bright future ahead for the entire drum industry.”