Pubbery considering IPO.

Independent British music publishing firm Kobalt Music Group has inked a flurry of administration deals and rolled out the next phase of its royalty collection infrastructure.

The London-based firm has sealed deals to handle administration for Tears for Fears, Wet Wet Wet, Teddy Riley, Denzil Foster and Dennis Matkowsky; it will also administrate the Axl Rose catalog as part of its existing deal with Sanctuary Music Publishing. KMG says the new agreements will build upon its portfolio of more than 60,000 copyrights.

Kobalt today (Jan. 25) used the forum of Midem in Cannes to unveil its relaunched client account system, which now offers real-time access to royalties data. "The information on copyrights, collection status and royalties expected is transparent, always available online and presented in a uniquely flexible manner which will be of great use to clients," CEO Willard Ahdritz says.

Kobalt's centralized collecting infrastructure is based on a dedicated online system and direct relationships with collecting societies. The relevant societies pay royalties directly to Kobalt's central office for distribution. Users include the International Music Managers Forum, Bill Wyman, James Brown and Badly Drawn Boy.

Looking ahead, Ahdritz says Kobalt is exploring avenues to finance growth, including a possible public offering. "In the medium term -- up to one year from now -- we are looking to expansion capital. We are looking at roots to that," Ahdritz tells Billboard.biz. The executive was a City of London banker prior to launching Kobalt in 2001.

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