Global distribution and services company INgrooves is on the block with a $100m pricetag.
That’s according to sources close to Billboard, who suggest that the company now turns around around $150m annually.
INgrooves majority owner Shamrock Capital is reportedly seeking a buyer for the company, which works with indies such as Dirty Hit, Strange Music, Rostrum and many more.
InGrooves also offers its clients publishing, neighboring rights and artist services.
With a 2% market share in the US market, Billboard cites potential acquirers of INgrooves could include Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music Group, Kobalt, BMG, Concord Music, Believe and [PIAS].
Universal previously owned 51% of INgrooves, but is now a minority shareholder. In 2010 Shamrock bought into INgrooves – subsequently implementing a merger with UMG’s independent label distribution company Fonatana, which gave Universal a 22% stake in the resultant firm.
“I fundamentally believe we are the only company in this space that is really making tangible investments in insights and analytics.”
Bob Roback, INgrooves [speaking in 2017]
INgrooves offers Universal’s current independent label clients digital distribution services, and UMG counts INgrooves within its own market share stats.
The fact that INgrooves is on the block suggests that Universal may have passed on the initial opportunity of a buyout as it potentially has a first refusal clause in its deal with the firm.
If Sony bought INgrooves, reports Billboard, it would close the gap between its own distribution market share in the US and that of Universal.
According to Billboard/Nielsen figures for 2017, Universal took 36.67% distribution market share last year in the market, with Sony on 27%.
A 2% shift in those figures from one party to the other could prove highly significant.
Last year, INgrooves CEO Bob Roback told MBW: “I fundamentally believe we are the only company in this space that is really making tangible investments in insights and analytics. A dashboard with lots of raw data and a great UI is neither insights nor analytics; it’s just a tool.
“What we are doing in the data science world is making sure we’re at the forefront of mining information to create real, actionable recommendations and strategic executions for our clients.”Music Business Worldwide