Music co to prod local music, distrib int'l sounds

PRAGUE – The Bonton Group and Sony Music Entertainment have formed a joint venture in the Czech Republic. The company, Sony Music/Bonton, will begin operations in early March.

The deal, unveiled Tuesday, had been in the works for months. The company will concentrate on producing Czech recordings and distributing Sony international product within the Czech Republic.

Sony Music Czech holds 51% of the company, and Bonton 49%.

Zbynek Knobloch of Bonton Music was named managing director.

Aaron Kirtz, currently acting general manager of Sony Music Czech, assumes a senior management post.

“This deal enables us to capitalize on music from and within the Czech Republic,” said Tony Woollcott, Sony Music Entertainment senior VP.

Mick Hawk, co president of Bonton, told Daily Variety, “It’s a coup for us to get the international exposure the Sony name brings.”

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