Sony/ATV Music Publishing To Acquire Famous Music LLC
Famous is one of the largest independent music publishers in the U.S.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) today announced that they have signed an agreement for Sony/ATV to acquire Famous Music LLC from Viacom. Sony/ATV Music Publishing is co-owned by Sony and trusts formed by Michael Jackson.
“The Famous Music catalogue is a world-class asset filled with evergreen songs that people know and love,” said Martin N. Bandier, Chairman and CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing. “The depth and breadth of the catalogue is what truly makes it great, and I strongly believe that the addition of the Famous catalogue and its songwriters to Sony/ATV is another step in our long-range growth plans. In addition, we are pleased to be entering the production music business through Famous’ Extreme division. Extreme’s valuable creative team and unique business model will be a terrific complement to our core music publishing business.”
“Famous Music is one of the iconic names in music publishing,” said Philippe Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom. “We are very pleased that Sony/ATV Music Publishing has recognized its great value and potential. We have benefited greatly from the talent and experience of the very able management team at Famous Music, particularly its long time CEO, Irwin Robinson, as well as Ira Jaffe, President and Chief Operating Officer; and Margaret Johnson, Executive Vice President Finance and Administration. We know that Famous and its fine executives have many great days ahead and want to thank them for their tremendous accomplishments.”
“Famous Music is one of the world’s largest independent music publishers, and this acquisition, following on the heels of the Leiber Stoller acquisition, further enhances Sony/ATV’s position in the global music publishing industry,” said Rob Wiesenthal, Chief Financial Officer, Sony Corporation of America.
“This is a milestone event for Sony/ATV Music Publishing,” said Michael Jackson. “The diverse collection of songs in this catalogue range from timeless classics to contemporary hits, and I am pleased to add the acquisition of Famous Music to Sony/ATV.”
Founded in 1928, the Famous Music catalogue includes 125,000 songs and sound cues, including such hits and classics as “Footloose,” “Moon River,” “Take My Breath Away,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Satin Doll,” “Silver Bells,” and “That’s Amore.” The catalogue, founded originally to publish music from “talking pictures,” also includes the widely recognizable movie themes from Braveheart, The Godfather, Forrest Gump, Mission Impossible and the “Axel F” theme from Beverly Hills Cop. The catalogue includes contemporary hits such as “Bad Day” (Daniel Powter), “Hips Don’t Lie” (Shakira), “The Real Slim Shady” (Eminem), and “Beautiful” (written by Linda Perry – performed by Christina Aguilera). The company also owns the Bjork, Duke Ellington, Dave Grusin, Bush and Boyz II Men catalogues, and songs from smash Broadway shows such as A Chorus Line and The Producers.
Famous Music’s roster of songwriters includes Shakira, Akon, Linda Perry (who has written for Pink, Gwen Stefani, and Christina Aguilera), 7Aurelius (who has written for LL Cool J and Mariah Carey), Fred Jerkins III (who has written for Destiny’s Child and Whitney Houston), Dave Tozer (who has written for John Legend), Mike Mangini (who has written for Joss Stone and Baha Men), Charlie Midnight (who has written for Hilary Duff and James Brown), Darrell Scott (who has written for Dixie Chicks and Faith Hill), Modest Mouse, Jet and Ozomatli.
Through its Extreme division, Famous Music is also is a major supplier of high quality recordings and musical compositions for use in television and radio advertisements, film and television productions, trailers, and major network and cable broadcast promotional announcements throughout the world.
This transaction is subject to customary approvals. Viacom was advised by UBS Investment Bank and Shearman and Sterling. Sony/ATV was advised by Morgan Stanley and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
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