Deal valued at north of $120 million
Sources close to the transaction expect it officially close on Friday.
Wood Creek made the purchase on behalf of funds it advises, an individual investor group which includes members of Concord’s senior management and industry veterans Steve Smith and former head of WMG’s Rhino Entertainment Scott Pascucci. Wood Creek, a Connecticut-based investment manager specializing in intellectual property, will pay somewhere north of $120 million for the asset, according to multiple sources close to the deal who were not authorized to speak publicly.
It’s understood that JP Morgan, CIT, HSBC and SunTrust are providing buyer financing for the deal.
Lear merged Concord with Village in 2008.
Driven by its desire to refocus on its core film business, Village put Concord up for sale last year. From the beginning, Village had sought buyers who would keep Concord’s management team in tact. As part of the deal with Wood Creek, Concord’s Glen Barros will remain in his post as CEO. Norman Lear, who bought Concord in the mid-1990s along with the late Hal Gaba, will remain on as chairman emeritus.
VREG has released 73 films through its Village Roadshow Pictures division. Warner Bros., with whom the company recently re-upped its distribution arrangement through 2017, released 69 of them. After taking a beating during the 2008 economic meltdown, Village completed a major $1.1 billion refinancing last year that put it on more sturdy financial footing to make between six to eight movies per year.
The Concord Group’s assets include a substantial body of jazz releases, as well as Fantasy Records, Rounder Records, Stax Records and the Creedence Clearwater Revival catalog. The Concord Group is also the distributor for Starbucks’ Hear Music imprint, which has handled new releases and reissues from Paul McCartney, Carole King and James Taylor.
The label claimed eight Grammy Awards at last February’s ceremony.
Wood Creek, an affiliate of the MassMutual Financial Group, has invested in other music assets, including The Bicycle Music Company and its managed portfolio of copyrights and master recordings, as well as the Varese Sarabande film score specialty label.