B-Unique goes into business with Spirit Music Group

British independent publisher B-Unique has entered into a worldwide partnership with acquisitive US-based rights company Spirit Music Group.

As a result, B-Unique’s successful publishing venture has been renamed Spirit B-Unique, operating out of a London HQ.

B-Unique founders Martin Toher and Mark Lewis have each been named Co-President of Spirit B-Unique. The duo’s recorded music operation remains exempt from the deal.

Spirit, headed by ambitious Chairman David Renzer (pictured), is a portfolio company of New York-based private equity fund manager Pegasus Capital Advisors.

B-Unique’s publishing rights will continue to be administered by Kobalt worldwide, but Spirit has pledged to aggressively market the firm’s catalogue for sync opportunities and other exploitation.

The deal was agreed by Toher and Lewis with the

Toher and Lewis, backed by Spirit’s cash to fund new deals, will also maximise opportunities for Spirit’s existing songwriters and catalogue – which includes hits from Pete Townshend, T-Rex and Charles Mingus and The Scissor Sisters.

The publishing catalogue of B-Unique, which formed in 2001, features successful artists and songwriters including James Bay, John Newman, Kodaline, and Jonny Coffer.

Said Renzer: “The U.K. is an incredibly important market in music, and we’ve long viewed it as a key part of Spirit’s long-term global growth plan.

“Year in and year out, it produces some of the world’s greatest musical talents, and opening a dedicated UK office positions Spirit to capitalize on the abundant creative opportunities that exist there.

“Our day-to-day operations are in great hands with Martin and Mark, who are two of the best creative executives in the business.”

Martin Toher added: “Founding B-Unique and developing it into a successful label and publisher has been some of the most fulfilling work of my career, and I couldn’t imagine a better home for B-Unique’s songwriters than Spirit.

“Their international reach, creative strength and administrative resources make them an incredible business partner and a huge asset for a songwriter.

“I can’t wait to get to work with David and his team and I’m excited to be part of Spirit’s expansion into the U.K.”

Mark Lewis commented: “We realised that Spirit and B-unique have a very similar approach in the care and attention we give to our songwriters and the shared relentless drive to work with the very best writers in the world.

“This is a deal that brings together great catalogue, current hits, future stars and great people. I look forward to Spirit B-Unique being an even more compelling shelter for artists who want more creativity than they have been getting.”

B-Unique publishing catalogue includes rights in top hits such as: “Feel The Love” by Rudimental featuring John Newman; “All I Want” and “The One” by Kodaline; “LA LA LA” by Naughty Boy (via Jonny Coffer); “Heart Skips a Beat” by Olly Murs (via Sam Preston); “Love Me Again” by John Newman; “Hey Baby” by No Doubt (via Rodney Price); “Hold Back The River” and “Let It Go” by James Bay; “Blame” by Calvin Harris featuring John Newman; “The Age of Understatement” by Last Shadow Puppets (via Miles Kane); “Cecilia and the Satellite” by Andrew McMahon (via James Flannigan and Anders Grahn).

The deal with B-Unique marks the latest in Spirit’s aggressive series of signings and catalogue acquisitions.

Spirit recently acquired the Nashville-based independent music publisher, production, and artist management company Cal IV Entertainment, which brought writers, artists, and staff into the fold along with 25 No.1 country copyrights and top ten singles.

Spirit also recently acquired the StyleSonic catalog, bringing another four No. 1 country hits to its portfolio as well as over fifteen Top 20 country songs spanning the last decade.

Elsewhere, Spirit also recently acquired contemporary Christian catalogue West Main Music and a portion of the catalogue of Jason Ingram, one of Christian music’s most successful songwriters.

Recent signings by the company include the catalog of legendary Henry Mancini, iconic rock group Smash Mouth, and an exclusive North American publishing agreement for the song catalog of 13x Grammy winner T Bone Burnett.

In addition, Spirit recently concluded a North American distribution agreement with Caroline for both current and future masters that the company controls, which includes records by T. Rex.Music Business Worldwide

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