Vale sails to U Music

UMG eyeing Campoy's label

Universal Music Group is acquiring Spanish independent label Vale Music for an undisclosed sum to boost its share of the global $1.8 billion market for Spanish-language repertoire.

Vale founder Ricardo Campoy has, in nine years, grown the Barcelona-based business into Spain’s No. 1 independent music company. Its roster of artists includes David Bustamante, whose “Pentimiento” entered the Spanish album charts at No. 1 this week, and Rosa, whose album, “Me siento viva,” is at No. 3.

Vale will continue to operate as a separate company from its headquarters in Barcelona, with Campoy and his senior executives agreeing to long-term contracts to continue managing its day-to-day operations.

The deal, subject to approval by the Spanish competition authorities, is UMG Intl.’s first major acquisition since it bought Germany’s Koch Music in 2002.

The Spanish recorded music market was worth about $500 million last year and the agreement would boost Universal Music Spain’s 16.9% market share.

According to Spanish record label trade body Promusicae, Vale Music’s market share in 2005 was 10.9%, compared to 27.2% for Sony BMG, 19.7% for Warner Music and 15.7% for EMI.

Vale Music initially specialized in dance music and branded compilation albums, but its greatest success has come through artists associated with “Operacion Triunfo,” Spain’s “Idol”-esque reality show.

Triunfo releases have generated worldwide sales of 10 million solo-artist albums and 4 million compilation albums. Bustamante and Rosa are also former Operacion Triunfo winners.

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