Universal Music Group, Concord Extend Global Distribution Deal


Universal Music Group re-ups with Concord, extending a global distribution deal which traces back more than 15 years.

Through the new partnership, announced early Monday (Dec. 21), UMG will continue to distribute releases from Concord’s frontline labels, led by chief label executive Tom Whalley, and catalog projects led by chief catalog executive Sig Sigworth.

The contract covers physical and digital distribution, across such labels as Craft Recordings, Fantasy Records, Fearless Records, Loma Vista Recordings, Rounder Records, Concord Jazz and children’s brand KIDZ BOP.

“UMG and Concord have built a wonderful relationship over the past 15 years,” comments Concord CEO Scott Pascucci in a statement. “As we have grown, they have provided the support that we needed to expand the worldwide success of our frontline labels, the KIDZ BOP franchise, Craft Recordings, and the rest of our catalog. We are very pleased to be renewing this partnership with Universal.”

Adds Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group: “Our partnership with Concord is built on a foundation of shared values. We both put artists and creativity at the center of everything we do.” Grainge continues, “I couldn’t be happier to extend our partnership and l look forward to even more success working with Scott, Tom, Sig and the entire Concord team.”

The independent Concord music group specializes in making investments in iconic catalogs on the publishing side, proven catalog sellers on the recorded music side; as well as having a diverse theatrical rights company.

Its business model is hitting the right notes. At the end of July, Concord successfully raised $600 million coming from a syndicated term loan run by J. P. Morgan, which was used to pay down existing debt. The refinancing leaves the company with nearly $400 million in availability on its revolving credit facility for future acquisitions and working capital.

Last Friday, UMG parent Vivendi announced a Tencent-led consortium had exercised its option to acquire an additional 10 percent stake of Universal Music Group, for about $3.7 billion.

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