Concord Bicycle Acquires Imagem, Creating One of the World’s Largest Music Companies

Daft Punk
Michael Nelson / Epa/REX/Shutterstock

Concord Bicycle Music has acquired independent publisher Imagem, tripling the size of its Bicycle Music publishing portfolio from approximately 130,000 to 380,000 copyrights and creating one of the largest music companies in the world. Imagem is comprised of three distinct business units: the Rodgers & Hammerstein theatrical holdings, a pop library under Imagem Music and the classical Boosey & Hawkes repertoire.

“There are few publishing assets of this size and importance that come to market, and there are few buyers that could incorporate such assets into their existing business, so this is a perfect fit,” Bicycle Music CEO Jake Wisely told Variety.

The deal, which was negotiated over the past nine months, brings to Concord Bicycle a combination of global and European rights to the music of Grammy-winners such as Phil Collins, Daft Punk and Mark Ronson as well as staples of the stage including South PacificThe King and I and The Sound of Music. On the classical side, the Boosey & Hawkes catalog includes composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Aaron Copland and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports in Billboard and Music Business Worldwide estimate the purchase price between $500,000 and $600,000. The company was seeking $650 million when it offered itself for sale in 2014.

The agreement brings about 250,000 additional copyrights to Concord Bicycle Group, which in addition to Bicycle Music owns and operates the Concorde Music record label. Though Wisely said the company has always been acquisitive, this is its largest purchase to date.

Concord Bicycle Music Scott Pascucci, CEO told the New York Times, which first reported the story, that the addition of Imagem’s assets bring his company’s valuation to “nearly $1 billion,” with expected revenue of $290 million this year on a pro forma basis.

Imagem was offered for sale by Shot Tower Capital, which last year handled the sale of the Jackson estate’s 50 percent of Sony/ATV to the Sony Corp.  Concord Bicycle was represented by Barron International Group in the deal, spearheaded by chief business development officer Steven Salm.

The new outfit will continue to be run as a separate company, managed by Wisely through Bicycle. Imagem has about 130 employees that Wisely said Bicycle plans to keep, along with offices in the U.K. and Germany. “We didn’t have that sort of local European presence before, so this really sets up Bicycle to be more of an international company, with wholly-owned affiliates in those territories to manage our rights. It potentially sets up our label, Concord Music, to be more global as well, in terms of marketing,” Wisely said, noting the record unit has distribution through Universal Music Group International.

Concord Bicycle Music is one of the world’s largest independent record and publishing companies, with offices in Beverly Hills, New York, Nashville and Cleveland. The company is owned by Barings Alternative Investments, Sound Investors, and seventy institutional and individual partners including more than two dozen executive-owners that are part of the CMG management team.