UMG shuts Sanctuary’s U.K. labels

U.S. company absorbs roster

LONDON — Universal Music Group is shuttering the recorded music division at Sanctuary in the U.K., as the world’s biggest music group moves ahead with its plan to exploit its new acquisition’s management, merchandising and catalog operations.

Universal completed its $90 million takeover of Sanctuary just days ago and has immediately moved to close down the unprofitable part of the business.

Sanctuary’s U.K. labels are home to such artists as Marc Almond, Dolores O’Riordan, Cooper Temple Clause and the Charlatans, among others. Those artists may now be offered deals with Universal Music.

Sanctuary’s U.S. label, whose roster includes Dolly Parton and Brian Wilson, will remain operational, at least for the time being.

“In consultation with senior management of the Sanctuary Group, it has been decided that its Sanctuary Records U.K. division will no longer continue as a standalone, frontline record label,” said Universal in a statement.

Variety understands that Sanctuary’s remaining artist services division will be run by existing Sanctuary CEO Frank Presland and that Universal is holding high-level integration talks later this month to hammer out details of the company structure, going forward.

Remaining Sanctuary assets include their artist management outfit, which handles the careers of Elton John and James Blunt, among others, live agency Helter Skelter and merchandising giant Bravado.

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