Sony Music’s UK company has made a handful of quiet acquisitions over the past 18 months, according to new financial documents.
Last year, in February 2017, Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd snapped up Wildstar Records Limited for £1.8m.
Wildstar was previously 50% owned by Global Radio Ltd, which runs UK commercial radio stations such as Capital FM and Radio X.
The other 50% of the company was owned by dormant company The Telstar Music Group Ltd, which appointed a voluntary liquidator in June last year.
The original Wildstar Records was run by now-artist managers Ian McAndrew and Colin Lester in the mid-noughties.
Lester signed Craig David to the label before becoming his manager, while McAndrew now looks after the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood at management house Wildlife Entertainment.
Other Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd acquisitions in the past 18 months include Jersey-based Minsub Limited.
Sony fully acquired the business for a total consideration of £68.5m in August 2016. (Minsub, of course, sounds like it’s very likely to be related to Sony’s acquisition of Ministry Of Sound Recordings in the same month.)
Sony Music UK also acquired 49% of startup Promised Land Recordings Ltd in November 2016 for no fee.
The remaining 51% stake in Promised Land Recordings is owned by Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, who is also President of Columbia Records UK in London (and enjoyed a successful year in 2017 with the likes of Rag N Bone Man, Harry Styles and Foo Fighters).
According to Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd’s filing, it additionally owns a 49% stake in Black Butter Ltd (via 100% of the company’s B class share capital), in addition to a 51% stake in Sign Of The Times Records Ltd.
Sign Of The Times is 49% owned by XIX DB Label Limited, which is run by long-term Simon Fuller associate (and 19 Entertainment President) Robert Dodds.
According to documents freshly filed at the UK’s Companies House, Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd turned over £226.1m in the 12 months to end of March 2017, up from £198.1m in the prior year.
Its gross profit stood at £121m, up from £103.2m in the prior year.
Sony Entertainment UK Ltd’s sister company, Sony Music Entertainment International Ltd, turned over £36.4m in the year ended March 2017, up from £32.1m in the prior year.
Both firms are owned by Sony Music Entertainment UK Holdings Ltd, which is in turn owned by SBME Holdings BV.Music Business Worldwide