In a bid to rejuvenate itself in the digital era, the once iconic, pop culture magazine Rolling Stone has sold a 49% stake to a Singapore-based startup company, BandLab.
The deal was announced over the weekend by Wenner Media, Rolling Stone’s parent company. Valuation and terms of the deal were not disclosed.
BandLab is run by Kuok Meng Ru, the son of a billionaire agricultural products tycoon Kuok Khoon Hong.
The two companies revealed a strategy to develop business in new markets and to evolve the Rolling Stone brand. This includes the launch of Rolling Stone International, a company which holds BandLab’s stake and develop live events, merchandising and hospitality.
“Our strategic partnership is focused on brand extensions into new areas we haven’t quite fully been in the past, such as merchandising, live events, hospitality – they are areas we have dabbled in but never really seriously gone after,” Wenner said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Meng and his team bring a great deal of understanding, infrastructure, know-how and act in that extraordinarily exciting market of Asia and beyond.”
Last week BandLab bought Mono, a San Francisco-based musical instrument design firm. In 2012 it bought Swee Lee, a guitar distributor.