French independent label Trema, home to some of the biggest names in chanson française, has been bought out for an undisclosed sum by Universal Music France.

French independent label Trema, home to some of the biggest names in chanson française, has been bought out for an undisclosed sum by Universal Music France.

The label, which claims to hold a 1.5% share of the French music market, was founded in 1969 by Regis Talar, who discovered French singer Michel Sardou, and Jacques Revaux, the co-composer of "Comme d'Habitude" ("My Way").

Sony Music France previously held 49% of Trema, and had first right to acquire the label. Last week, Sony announced it had sold its share to Talar, Michel Sardou and Camus & Camus, the touring company managed by Jean-Claude Camus, opening the door for the acquisition by Universal. Revaux no longer held shares in the company and has retired from the business.

Under the new agreement, Sardou has re-signed with Trema and has agreed to release his next four albums with the label. Talar remains the label's president.

Speaking to Billboard.biz, Talar says the deal was "our only solution for survival, as it allows us to conserve our status as an artists' company, as opposed to a standard record company." Universal Music France chairman CEO Pascal Nègre declined to comment.

Trema will continue to operate autonomously for A&R functions but artists will be shifted to other Universal labels for marketing and promotion. It is not known if the new acquisition will result in redundancies.

Whilst Trema's chanson française and rock acts will be handled by Universal imprint Barclay, its more pop-oriented projects will be released through AZ, the label home to France's Popstars. Distribution will switch from Sony to Universal.

"I would not like this deal to be seen as the end of the independents," says Talar, "as it could give us even more possibilities than before. I will endeavour to work just as I have before, and I know Pascal will allow me to do so."