UNIVERSAL Sells SANCTUARY RECORDS To BMG

Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group has sold Sanctuary Records, the onetime label of BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN and MEGADETH, to BMG Rights Management as part of disposals required by regulators. The Sanctuary label was reportedly sold for $62 million in a deal that was among the asset sales asked for by European regulators after Universal Music's acquisition of EMI Group and is the second label bought by BMG Rights among those on offer.

BMG Rights, controlled by KKR & Co, is a Berlin-based management and rights company expanding into recorded music.

"We are delighted to have won the opportunity to work with the exceptional lineup of artists in the Sanctuary catalogue," BMG chief executive Hartwig Masuch said in a statement.

"We have made no secret of our ambition to create a new force in the music industry focused on delivering service and revenue to artists.

"We believe this deal will be good news for those artists, good news for our partners particularly in the independent sector and good news for the music industry as a whole."

Music Week editor Tim Ingham told Sky News: "The traditional deal that a music label has done with artists is not dissimilar to a mortgage, with not-so-favorable terms — it would be lots of cash and to pay that off could take millions of sales and several albums.

"BMG is now a traditional publisher with copyrights but they want to grow their masters business and won’t give artists a big advance but will profit share.

"The artist shares risk and profit, and BMG see that as groundbreaking way to release records into the market."

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