Romania’s Global Records says it’s on track to generate $54m in 2024, and plans for ‘significant’ US expansion following acquisition of Honua Music

Ștefan Lucian

Romania’s Global Records has its sights set on global expansion.

Bucharest-headquartered Global, which claims to be Eastern Europe’s biggest independent record label, has launched a new Los Angeles-based subsidiary called Honua Music Group.

The new division has arrived as a result of Global’s acquisition of independent US music publisher Honua Music.

Global had previously invested in the company, holding a 10% stake in Honua, but has now confirmed that it has fully acquired the indie publisher, which was founded in 2011 by industry veteran Ron Moss and producer/songwriter Axident (Andreas Schuller).

Global’s acquisition of Honua arrived in a year (2023) in which Global’s annual revenues surpassed €33 million ($35.7m at the average annual exchange rate published by the IRS).

Global Records owner Ștefan Lucian told MBW that for 2024, the company “is aiming for [annual revenue of] over €50 million (approx $54m at current exchange rates),” and aims to maintain “the momentum of our recent EBITDA margin of 24%”.

When asked if Global had any further acquisitions in the pipeline, Lucian said: “If an opportunity arises, we’re definitely open to exploring it.”

Added Lucian: “When it comes to acquisitions, our approach differs from the majors’ strategy of amassing catalogs from various entities. Instead, we continually seek strategic partners with whom we can build strong relationships and success stories.”

Honua boasts cuts on records that have cumulatively achieved billions of streams and have earned over 100 Gold and Platinum certifications with superstar artists such as Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa, Jason Derulo, Pitbull, Jessie J, and Zedd.

The firm’s roster of writers includes Honua’s co-founder Axident, who has co-written/produced tracks for Jason Derulo (Wiggle), Justin Bieber (Company), Pitbull (Fireball), and many more.

Honua’s roster today also includes Alida, who has written for artists such as Katy Perry, Alok, Robin Schulz, R3HAB, and Kylie Minogue, plus Gladius (Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, Ty Dolla Sign, XXXTentacion), Lawson (Drake, Bryson Tiller, Moneybagg Yo), Eugene Tsai (Tory Lanez, Lil Dicky, Logic). Other Honua songwriters include Sean Fischer, Ally, Ahern, Dotter, Dino Medanhodzic, Larus Arnarson, Johnny Orlando, TAELA, Luch, Stefi Novo, Magsy, and Tommy Driscoll.

Global Records owner Stefan Lucian explained that “the collaboration between Global Records and Honua Music comes with a lot of history”.

He added: “We’ve had a long-lasting and fruitful relationship with Axident, that started with a worldwide hit, Cola Song (INNA feat J.Balvin).

“The song’s success was soon followed by other outstanding collaborations and, with Honua’s remarkable team and their stellar international track record, it’s hard to imagine finding a better partner.”

Lucian added that the acquisition, which closed late last year, was “an important milestone in Global’s trajectory” and arrived as part of its plan to expand “in numerous territories”.

He added that Global’s goal is to “significantly expand our presence in the US market over the next 5 to 10 years”.

For Honua, the company’s co-founder Andreas Schuller (Axident), told us: “Our aim is to be the best service publishing company in the world. Global is the ultimate partner to help us take our model and vision to the next level.”

“When it comes to acquisitions, our approach differs from the majors’ strategy of amassing catalogs from various entities. Instead, we continually seek strategic partners with whom we can build strong relationships and success stories.”

Ștefan Lucian, Global REcords

Since closing the deal for Honua, according to Global’s Ștefan Lucian, the company has signed five songwriters to its roster including Keith Lawson (aka Lawson), who co-wrote 7969 Santa ft. Teezo Touchdown on Drake’s album, For All The Dogs. The track peaked at No.16 on the US Hot 100.

Other recent signings to Honua include singer-songwriter Taela (Capitol Records/Young Forever), Johnny Orlando (Universal Music Canada), LA-based producer Tommy Driscoll, and Toronto-based producer Eugene Tsa, who has releases with artists like Tory Lanez, Lil Dicky, and Logic.

Looking to the remainder of 2024, Ștefan Lucian said that Global Records “aims to cement our position as the largest independent label in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) while expanding our market share in Western territories”.

On the recorded music side, Lucian said that the company’s focus “has been on nurturing the talents of two Germany-based DJs, Danny Chris and Jost, who have impressive releases and collaborations in the works”.  He added: “Additionally, we have exciting artists in the pipeline, that will soon penetrate the market.”

The music company, founded by Ștefan Lucian in 2008, recently expanded into Germany, the world’s fourth-largest recorded music market, with a new office and studios in central Berlin.

Global’s expansion into the GSA region followed its success with artists such as INNA and Minelli in the CEE region but also in countries and regions such as France, the Nordics, and Benelux.

The company boasts a catalog of 5,500 releases. It operates seven labels that, combined, have generated more than 20 billion streams to date.Music Business Worldwide

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