Sony Music Corp. is reportedly in ‘advanced talks’ to assist in the buyout of a majority stake in Latin Music superstar Bad Bunny’s music label and management company, Rimas Entertainment.
That’s according to Billboard, which reported on Friday (April 21), citing sources familiar with the matter, that Bad Bunny manager and Rimas CEO Noah Assad is buying out his partner, Rafael Ricardo Jiménez Dan, a former Venezuelan government official who has a 60% majority stake in the company.
Sony will reportedly join in the buyout of the stake held by Jiménez, who has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of Rimas since 2018, Billboard said.
If confirmed and if the deal succeeds, Bad Bunny will own a stake in Rimas, and Assad or a combination of Assad and Bad Bunny will have majority ownership of Rimas.
Billboard reports that Sony will end up with ‘a significant minority share’ in Assad’s Rimas Entertainment. The report adds that this stake will be assigned to Sony-owned distribution company The Orchard, which currently distributes Rimas’ music.
Aside from Bad Bunny, Rimas also manages other artists including Arcángel, Eladio Carrión, Jowell & Randy and Tommy Torres. Founded in Puerto Rico in 2014, the company now has about 100 employees.
The report comes less than two weeks after Bad Bunny launched a new sports management agency, called Rimas Sports, in partnership with Assad. The agency launched with a roster consisting of Major League Baseball (MLB) players.
Commenting on the launch of Rimas Sports earlier this month, Assad said: “We are thrilled to break into a new industry with the launch of Rimas Sports. In the music world, we accomplished success by knowing how to develop talent, helping our clients reach their vision by catering to their unique needs.”
Billboard said the potential sale of Rimas’ label and management arm appears to have only been offered to Sony, while the music publishing portion of Jiménez’s Rimas holdings have been offered to private equity players.
Sources reportedly told Billboard that they have been in the works on the deal for months, with some wondering whether the talks have been stalled due to friction between Assad and Jiménez.
The deal also hangs in the balance, due to what the report suggests to be Sony’s ‘financial capacity’ for M&A at present. The company is also reportedly currently in talks to acquire all or part of Michael Jackson’s estate in a deal that could be valued between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.
If confirmed, Sony’s planned acquisition of a stake in Rimas comes amid the popularity of Latin Music and especially of Latin Music superstar Bad Bunny.
US revenues from Latin recorded surpassed the USD $1 billion mark in 2022.
Last year, Bad Bunny’s album, Un Verano Sin Ti, was declared the biggest album globally by the IFPI. The album surpassed Taylor Swift’s Midnights and Harry Styles’ Harry’s House in IFPI’s Global Albums chart.
Bad Bunny was also Apple Music’s Artist of the Year and Spotify’s Most-Streamed Artist.
Assad told MBW in a 2022 interview that Latin music will “keep on growing.”
“Everything we did with Rimas was out of love and out of passion for music, never thinking about how big it could get,” Assad said.
Music Business Worldwide