Warner sells assets to Nettwerk as divestment process picks up pace

Nettwerk Music Group has acquired from Warner Music Group the worldwide rights to the catalogues of three artists: Guster, The LeeVees and Airbourne.

The titles are the latest assets to shake free as a result of WMG’s purchase of Parlophone Label Group in 2013.

As agreed with IMPALA and Merlin, WMG must divest catalogue worth $200m+ to independent organizations – around a third of the value of Warner’s £487m ($765m) buyout of PLG.

In June, Chrysalis Records was bought from Warner in a deal led by Blue Raincoat Music’s Jeremy Lascelles and Robin Millar CBE.

The newly-independent Chrysalis then went back for more divested assets, picking up recordings from the likes of Athlete, Suzi Quatro and Steve Harley.

Today’s announcement of Nettwerk’s purchases follows the news of it selling a large majority of its publishing catalogue to KMC, an investment fund advised and managed by Kobalt.

“This is an example of how nettwerk is putting the proceeds from the publishing catalogue sale to work.”

Simon Mortimer-Lamb, Nettwerk

Nettwerk President and COO Simon Mortimer-Lamb noted, “The acquisition is an example of how Nettwerk is putting the proceeds from the publishing catalogue sale to work, aggressively investing in and growing a roster of elite artists that share our vision of the music industry.

“Both Guster and Airbourne have been long-term partners with Nettwerk, and both have had built successful careers by writing great songs and engaging powerfully with fans. We are very pleased to expand our relationships with these acts through the acquisition of these stellar master recordings.”

Guster has been a long time Nettwerk Management client, along with The LeeVees, a side project from Guster’s Adam Gardner.

Most recently, Nettwerk and Guster expanded their relationship with Nettwerk releasing the band’s latest album, Evermotion (2015).

As a former Nettwerk publishing client, Airbourne and Nettwerk also already have a business relationship.

Terry McBride, Nettwerk’s Chairman and CEO (pictured) added, “We are very excited to bring these catalogues into the Nettwerk family. We see incredible value going forward in both the quality of the catalogues, and we are enthusiastic to deepen our partnership with such a hard working and active group of artists.

“In particular, we congratulate Airbourne on their upcoming release of the album Breakin’ Outta Hell and are looking forward to planning future releases with Guster.”

In April, Beggars Group quietly acquired a significant chunk of the Radiohead catalogue from Warner – but this was never confirmed as part of the official divestment process.Music Business Worldwide

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