Part 2: BMG Rights Management Music Publishing Acquisitions

BMG Rights Management, formed in 2008 and jointly owned by Bertelsmann AG and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., spent 2010 acquiring one high-profile music publishing catalog after another.   With the help of my legal intern, Abby Kweller, I am putting together a multi-part post summarizing the various acquisitions in 2010.  You can read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.

Selfmade Records (August 2010) The first of BMG’s two August acquisitions was Selfmade Records, a successful German hip-hop label with releases ranking in the Top 30 and Top 20 on German charts. Selfmade’s catalog held rights to 172 songs.   Selfmade had an active songwriting roster and in addition to the existing copyrights, BMG also acquired songwriting contracts with German producers RIZBO, Mcs Kollegah, Flipstar, and Favorite.   The deal struck between BMG and Selfmade Records was for an unknown purchase price.

The Clarence McDonald Catalog (August 2010) BMG inked a publishing administration agreement for 19 titles with writer, singer, and producer, Clarence McDonald, and his related North American publishing companies.  Partners in McDonald’s publishing companies include Lani Groves, Daniece Williams, and Bill Daniels. McDonald has produced songs for Ray Charles (“Heaven Help Us All”), the Emotions (“Best of My Love”), Johnny Mathis (“That’s What Friends Are for”), and Bill Withers (“Lovely Day”).

Evergreen Copyright Acquisitions (September 2010) BMG’s sixth acquisition in 2010 was the US-based music publishing/administration company Evergreen Copyright Acquistions. The Evergreen catalog included 65,000 titles across diverse genres, bringing BMG’s catalog to over 200,000 song copyrights. Michael Jackson, MC Hammer, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Uncle Kracker are a few of the notable artists that have made hits of songs in the Evergreen catalog.   Evergreen's co-CEO was Texas music industry veteran Richard Perna.  The New York Post estimated the deal to be valued at 80 million USD.   The Evergreen catalog contained legacy songs as well as active songwriters.

More posts will follow with additional information on BMG Rights' music publishing acquisitions.  Read Part 1 here.