Texas Trademark Lawyer Tamera Bennett

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Part 3: 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.  BMG’s acquisitions  over the last 12 to 15 months expanded its catalog to over 300,000 compositions. It currently stands as the fifth largest music publishing company in the world. With the help of my legal intern, Abby Kweller, this is Part 3 of a multi-part post summarizing various acquisitions in 2010.  You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

TG Publishing (October 2010) In October of 2010, BMG Rights Management acquired the twenty-five-year-old international music agency, TG Publishing.  TG Publishing managed the production, publishing, and licensing of 1500 songs from twenty songwriters and seven studios in Denmark and Sweden. TG Publishing’s catalog has sold over 40 million records and includes songs that have topped charts all across the world. A TG artist, Aqua, was made an international sensation from its 1997 Billboard Top-100 hit “Barbie Girl.” Other notable artists in the roster include DJ Ötzi, Dr. Bombay, and Kato. In the Deal, BMG acquired fifty percent of TG Publishing’s catalog with the remaining fifty percent to be sub-published.  

Chrysalis (November 2010) A major acquisition for BMG occurred in November 2010, when the company struck a deal with one of the world’s biggest independent publishers, Chrysalis. The $168 million-plus offer from BMG made the deal a good one for Chrysalis, since BMG’s offer was more than five-million dollars higher than an offer made by EMI. BMG acquired over 100,000 songs in the Chrysalis acquisition, and gained the rights to legacy and active stars such as Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Blondie, Sheryl Crow, and recent chart topper Cee Lo Green. On a side note, you can read more here on how BMG's acquisitions are impacting music industry executive's jobs in Nashville.

TaPe Music Publishing (December 2010) BMG’s ninth and final acquisition of 2010 was a co-publishing deal with newly founded independent publisher TaPe Music. TaPe Music secured major international deals before being acquired by BMG, and had an individual catalogue that included over 200 songs from TaPe’s executive director, Pete Kirtley. Kirtley sold over ten million records world-wide, and the price of the acquisition is unknown at this time.