×

BMG acquires Virgin Music catalog

Publishing deal for former Sony/ATV divestments worth $90 million

In a music publishing deal estimated at $90 million, BMG has acquired the catalogs of Virgin Music, Famous UK Music and select Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing writers.

The 21,000 Virgin copyrights include songs by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Take That, Tears For Fears, Human League and Iggy Pop. Completion of the transaction was officially announced early Friday.

The sale was a precondition of the $2.1 billion purchase of EMI’s publishing holdings by an investor consortium led by Sony/ATV, completed in September (Daily Variety, Sept. 2).

Sony/ATV previously controlled 750,000 copyrights and accounted for more than 12% of the pubbery business.

BMG reportedly outbid such competing firms as Warner Music Group’s Warner/Chappell Music for the catalogs.

Pact is the latest publishing coup for BMG, a partnership between German media company Bertelsmann and investment firm Kohlberg Kravitz Roberts forged in 2009. The company has aggressively bought up a number of independent pub companies, including Chrysalis, Bug, Cherry Lane and Evergreen.

Prior to the acquisition, BMG claimed status as the fourth-largest international music publisher. It has shown a renewed commitment to music on the part of Bertelsmann: – the firm had previously sold its music publishing holdings to Universal Music Group’s parent Vivendi in 2006, and sold its share of the Sony-BMG label joint venture to its partner in 2008.

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said in a statement, “These catalogues contain some of the most influential and successful songs in popular music. We are delighted to have won the opportunity to represent the writers of those songs and to demonstrate to them BMG’s commitment to twenty-first century service. They have my pledge that we will do our very best to deliver for them.”

Other writers covered in the BMG purchase include Robbie Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Mark Ronson, Ozzy Osbourne and Jim Steinman. Compositions include such hits as Duffy’s “Mercy,” the Prodigy’s “Firestarter” and “Smack My Bitch Up,” Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris,” Devo’s “Whip It,” Tool’s “Aenima” and OMD’s “Enola Gay.”

More Music

  • Beyonce poses for photographers upon arrival

    Beyoncé Releases Music Video for 'Spirit,' Her 'Lion King' Soundtrack Contribution

    Beyoncé fans are stampeding across the web veldt to get a look at her just-released music video for “Spirit,” the original song she co-wrote and sang for the “Lion King” soundtrack. The track is also included on the companion album she executive-produced and will release Friday, “The Gift.” Clips from the computer-animated film are interspersed [...]

  • Woodstock 50's Latest Plea Denied by

    Woodstock 50's Latest Plea Denied Unanimously by Town of Vernon

    UPDATED: The light is quickly fading on Woodstock 50, which in its latest plea to the town of Vernon, New York, was rejected in its effort to secure a permit to hold the three-day concert at Vernon Downs. The Syracuse area venue with a capacity of 35,000 was the most recent proposed site for the [...]

  • Beyonce-HOMECOMING-Netflix

    Beyoncé, Sara Bareilles Vie for First Emmys as Ramin Djawadi Looks to Reclaim Throne

    Beyoncé and Sara Bareilles could add Emmy trophies to their awards shelves this year, having been nominated in key music categories Tuesday by the Television Academy. Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” special on Netflix was nominated in six categories, and four of those include a nod for the pop superstar herself. Only one of those is in a [...]

  • LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet

    LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet Dermot McCormack President

    Live entertainment digital media company LiveXLive Media today announced that AOL and MTV veteran Dermot McCormack has been named president of the company. According to the announcement, McCormack will lead the business and creative operations of LiveXLive, effective immediately. McCormack previously served as AOL’s Global President of Video and Studios, where he oversaw the video [...]

  • Harry Styles to Play Prince Eric

    Harry Styles in Talks to Play Prince Eric in Disney's 'Little Mermaid'

    Harry Styles is going under the sea. The former One Direction frontman is in early negotiations to play Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.” Halle Bailey will portray the Ariel, a mermaid princess who dreams of being a human, while Melissa McCarthy is playing her evil aunt Ursula. “The Little Mermaid” [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    R. Kelly Ordered Held Without Bail

    R. Kelly has been ordered held without bond at a hearing Tuesday in federal court in Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun Times. The singer entered a not-guilty plea. The hearing, which follows the singer being hit Friday with a total of 18 counts of serious sexual misconduct and other charges in Chicago and New York, [...]

  • Sir Elton John, David Furnish. Sir

    New Elton John AIDS Foundation Gala to be Held in the South of France

    Elton John and David Furnish are launching a new gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The two will host the inaugural A Midsummer Party benefit on July 24 in the south of France at the Johnny Pigozzi’s private estate, Villa Dorane, in Cap d’Antibes. A cocktail reception will be followed by dinner, a live [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content