Concord Bicycle Music Snaps Up Warner Music’s Parlophone Divestments: Jewel, Sergio Mendes, More

Jewel Kilcher

Fresh from its acquisition of Imagem last month, Concord Bicycle Music continued its buying spree, securing the rights to the Atlantic catalog of Jewel and albums by Sergio Mendes as part of a seven-figure deal for Warner Music Group’s post-Parlophone divestments, Variety has confirmed.

WMG had an agreement with indie-label collective Merlin to sell off $200 million of its music assets to independent companies as a condition of acquiring Parlophone in 2013, when Universal Music Group was forced to let the label go as its own condition of buying EMI’s recorded-music assets.  The deal was first reported by Music Business Worldwide in the U.K., and was completed on July 1, according to a source.

The purchase brings Jewel’s first five studio albums to Concord, including her debut “Pieces Of You,” which has sold 12 million copies in the U.S. since its release in 1995.

After merging with the Bicycle Music Company and raising $100m for its war chest in 2015, Concord has acquired Fearless Records, Wind-Up Records, HighTone Records and signed a joint venture with Razor & Tie.

Other WMG divestments were made to Domino Records (The Buzzcocks, Hot Chip), Epitaph (Tom Waits catalog items) and Paris-based Because Music (London Records), which included recordings by British girl pop group All Saints and Manchester’s rave alumni Happy Mondays, originally signed to Factory Records.

At the same time, Because Music SVP A&R/Marketing Jane Third left the company to join [PIAS] as Global Chief Creative Officer, with her own label. Third had spent 10 years at Because, with signings including Swedish act Little Dragon and Mercury Music Prize-nominated bands Django Django and Metronomy.

Alongside founder and CEO Emmanuel De Buretel, Third helped grow the company since its launch in 2005. Because will not have rights to the London Records name. London was last active as a UK label at UMG under Nick Raphael and Jo Charrington.

Pop artists on London Records have included Ace of Base, Bananarama, Bronski Beat and Whigfield.