Universal’s Virgin Music Group acquires Saban Music Latin

Chesca and Pitbull (pictured) teamed up to release Te Quiero Baby via Saban Music Group in 2020

“There’s plenty of room to grow in Latin America and we’ve made great progress. We like our prospects there.”

The words of JT Myers, co-CEO of Virgin Music Group (VMG) in an interview with MBW published shortly before the end of 2023.

Today (January 4), as 2024 rubs the sleep from its eyes, we receive some news that indicates just how keen Myers and his co-CEO at VMG, Nat Pastor, are on Latin music and its artists.

VMG, Universal Music Group‘s global indie artist and label services division, has just confirmed that it is acquiring Saban Music Latin.

Under the terms of the transaction – fee undisclosed – Virgin Music Group will acquire Saban Music Latin’s catalog and will also release future albums by selected Saban Music Latin artists.

VMG currently operates divisions in multiple Latin markets including Mexico, the Andean region, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, and Portugal; it also operates a Latin division in the U.S.

It would have perhaps been a surprise to see Saban Music Group sold to a competitor of Universal Music Group: the two firms have a historical partnership, while Haim Saban, the founder of SMG, is an independent Non-Executive Director of UMG.

That said, the fact that Virgin Music Group has stepped up to make the acquisition – rather than a frontline UMG record company – is an interesting development.

Artists with recordings in Saban Music Latin’s catalog include German Montero; Fuerza De Tijuana; Reykon; Jon Z; Almighty; Jesus Mendoza; Banda Cruz De Oro; Michael Stuart; and Abel Zazueta Y Los De Culiacan.

Artists currently on Saban Music Latin’s roster include Chesca, Loyal Lobos, and YoGambii.

  • Chesca is a Puerto Rican singer-songwriter with two #1 Latin Billboard singles, who has collaborated with artists including Pitbull, Offset, Don Omar and Grupo Firme.
  • Loyal Lobos is a Colombian singer/songwriter – named by Rolling Stone, Billboard and Spotify as an “artist to watch” this year.
  • YoGambii, a figure in the fast-growing trap Latin movement, recently collaborated with Luar La L.

Virgin Music Group has a recent history of partnering with successful Latin artists – not least in 2023 with Eslabon Armado (via DEL Records), whose smash single “Ella Baila Sola” – performed with Peso Pluma – was Spotify’s biggest track of the summer globally last year.

Virgin Music Group’s artist roster already includes Latin stars such as Pepe Aguilar, Sech, Grupo Firme, Tainy, Dalex, Luis Alfonso Partida, El Yaki, ANAVITORIA, Dani Flow, Angela Aguilar and Grupo Recluta among others.Music Business Worldwide