Yesterday, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) announced that KMC Music, its wholly owned subsidiary, has sold the Ovation guitar brand to Drum Workshop, Inc. Considering Fender’s recent history of brand divestment, the move isn’t entirely unexpected. However, the fact that Ovation was acquired by DW—a major manufacturer of percussion instruments and accessories—raised a few eyebrows across the industry.
As for Drum Workshop, the bulk of their acquired Fender product lines revolve around percussion, while the inclusion of Ovation in the sale seems to be of secondary importance–at least for the time being. Initial reports indicate that DW will be keeping the Ovation brand alive. Scott Donnell, VP of marketing at Drum Workshop, calls it a “fluid situation.” “We’re excited about the future of Ovation and what we can do with that brand,” he says. He adds that, based on preliminary discussions, there is a “distinct possibility” that Ovation will be re-opening a U.S.-based production facility. Although DW will not be showing the Ovation brand at the 2015 NAMM show, they hope to have a presence for next year’s event.