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Concord Music Buys Samuel French in Theatrical Megadeal

Concord Music has acquired Samuel French, a theater publisher and licensor that has represented musical hits such as “Fun Home,” and the plays of Tennessee Williams and August Wilson. The music company will form a new unit, Concord Theatricals. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The merged business will boast not only Samuel French’s catalog, but also those of Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals, Tams-Witmark, and Concord Music’s joint venture with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, called the Musical Company. Samuel French alone boasts some 10,000 titles, including works by Arthur Miller, Lorraine Hansberry, and Neil Simon, as well as such notable musicals as “Grease,” “Chicago,” “The Wiz,” and “The Secret Garden.” It is the first time that Concord, which boasts jazz and popular music catalogs, has bought the rights to straight, non-musical plays.

Concord has been acquisitive in recent years, buying the Marvin Hamlisch catalog in 2011, partnering with Lloyd Webber on a new venture in 2016, and purchasing the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization in 2017. The company also recently invested in Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” and “Soul: The Stax Musical,” with hopes of taking them to Broadway and the West End. It will transfer an acclaimed revival of “Oklahoma!” to Broadway next spring following a run at the St. Ann’s Warehouse.

Lisbeth R. Barron and Barron International Group, LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Samuel French for the transaction. Barron also represented Concord on its acquisition of Rodgers & Hammerstein and the other assets of Imagem Music Group.

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Concord’s roster of musicians and songwriters includes James Taylor, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Mark Ronson, and John Coltrane.

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