Guitar maker Fender files for initial public offering. Fender Musical Instruments Corp., the iconic company that has been making guitars in California since its inception by Leo Fender in 1946, is seeking to raise $200 million in an initial public stock offering. The company was founded in Fullerton CA. and makes its American Standard Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars at a 3-acre manufacturing plant in Corona CA. The last step in Fender’s quality-control process involves an experienced musician playing every note on a finished guitar before the instrument is sent to a dealer.