All Nations at MCA

Indie music publisher drawn into fold

MCA Music Publishing has acquired All Nations Music, a successful independent publisher with thousands of top tracks in its catalog. The multimillion-dollar deal, which the conglom landed amid fierce competition from other suitors, adds to MCA’s growing list of acquisitions that signal its commitment to building a potent publishing company.

All Nations boasts tunes made famous by such artists as Donna Summer and Kenny Rogers, and includes among its 4,000 tunes the catalogs of the Statler Brothers, Michael Omartian and the Platters, among others.

Changing interests

It was formed by publishing vet Billy Meshel, the former prexy of Arista Music Publishing (now known as BMG Music) in 1989 with seed money from the hotel-owning Pritzker family of Chicago, who are divesting their interest in the company.

“I’m very melancholy because All Nations was a thriving firm with an enormous cash flow,” Meshel told Daily Variety. “But my partners are no longer interested in being in the music business.” Meshel said he expects to start a new publishing company in the near future.

The demise of All Nations into a corporate fold signals the latest independent to loose its autonomy. Only a handful of boutique, independent operations remain, creating an environment that Meshel maintains permitted a small company to stand out.

A ‘publisher’s publisher’

Meshel, a well-respected exec frequently dubbed by contemporaries as a “publisher’s publisher,” gives high marks to MCA Music publishing chief David Renzer and other MCA execs who helped close the deal. “They were graceful and sincere, unlike the others that I negotiated with,” he said.

The All Nations pact is the largest and most expensive of the recent acquisitions made by MCA, and represents “the rare opportunity to acquire some true quality copyrights,” according to David Renzer, worldwide prexy of MCA Music Publishing.

Earlier this year, MCA acquired Interscope Music. It also has landed the Manny Music Latin catalog and the Charlie Daniels catalog.

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