Concord Music Group merges with Bicycle, raises $100m

US independent Concord Music Group has merged with publisher and rights manager The Bicycle Music Company to form Concord Bicycle Music.

In addition, Concord Bicycle Music has announced that it has raised $100 million of additional capital to fund further growth through continued music rights acquisitions and artist development investments.

The combined company will own rights to around 10,000 albums, with a music publishing catalogue of approximately 60,000 songs. Its recordings side benefits from a distribution agreement with Universal Music Group.

Albums controlled by the combined company include work from such artists as Miles Davis, George Benson, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Creed, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Steve Martin, Paul McCartney and Wings, Nine Inch Nails, the Offspring, Robert Plant, Otis Redding (pictured),  Paul Simon, the Staple Singers and James Taylor.

The Bicycle Music publishing catalogue includes classic songs including Always On My Mind, Eye Of The Tiger, Guantanamera, Lady Sings The Blues, Let Your Love Flow, Man In The Mirror, Slow Ride, Stand By Your Man, Time After Time, and the songs from A Chorus Line.

Elsewhere, Concord has acquired independent record labels Vanguard and Sugar Hill from the Welk Music Group.

Founded in 1947, Vanguard Records specialises in blues, folk, rock, country and jazz. Currently, Vanguard’s admired roster includes Indigo Girls, Chris Isaak, John Butler Trio, John Fogerty, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Matt Nathanson, O.A.R., Barenaked Ladies, Sallie Ford, Marc Broussard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Trevor Hall. Its cataloges includes hundreds of titles from Joan Baez, Doc Watson, Levon Helm, Buddy Guy, Country Joe and the Fish, Big Mama Thornton, Mississippi John Hurt, John Fahey and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Nashville-based Sugar Hill Records, founded in 1978, focuses on deep roots in bluegrass, folk, country and Americana. Today, the eclectic Sugar Hill roster features artists such as Sarah Jarosz, Lee Ann Womack, Liz Longley, Corey Smith, Kasey Chambers, Sam Bush, moe., Bryan Sutton and Black Prairie. Its catalogue includes albums from Nickel Creek, Don Williams, Doc Watson, Dolly Parton, Guy Clark, New Grass Revival, Robert Earl Keen, Tim O’Brien and Tony Rice.

Post-acquisition, Welk Music Group President Kevin Welk will remain engaged with Vanguard and Sugar Hill as Chief Creative for the labels.

In Los Angeles, Vanguard’s operations and label team will be merged under Concord’s Fantasy Label Group. Dan Sell, General Manager of Vanguard prior to the acquisition, will continue to lead the label’s operations as Vanguard’s Chief Operating Officer. He will report to Fantasy Label Group president, Margi Cheske.

In Nashville, Sugar Hill’s operations and label team will be merged under Concord’s Rounder Label Group. Cliff O’Sullivan, General Manager of Sugar Hill prior to the acquisition, will be the label group’s Chief Operating Officer and will report to group president, John Virant.

“Concord is strengthened today by the addition of Vanguard and Sugar Hill’s acclaimed artist roster, renowned catalog and gifted executives,” stated Concord Music Group CEO Glen Barros. “This acquisition further establishes Concord Music Group as a home for extraordinary artists. We welcome Vanguard and Sugar Hill into the Concord family and look forward to building upon their great legacies.”

“Strategically, we couldn’t find a better home for Vanguard and Sugar Hill,” stated Kevin Welk, President of Welk Music Group. “Not only will they care for our historic catalog and distinguished artists, their desire to grow the new artist business was paramount in the decision. Combining the executive talent of both companies will strengthen Concord’s ability to nurture new talent and be a force in this business.”Music Business Worldwide

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