Round Hill Music and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale has acquired the first four Bush albums from Kirtland Records.
Terms of the deal, which also included a fifth Bush title, were not disclosed. But sources say Round Hill paid about $5 million for the band's catalog, which had been shopped by EIG, a Los Angeles-based boutique investment bank.
While ownership is split equally between Round Hill and Rossdale, the firm will serve as the administrator of the catalog, with the recordings being released on Round Hill Records. The deal represents the first master recording acquisition done by Round Hill.
"We are privileged to own these iconic recordings," Round Hill CEO Josh Gruss said in a statement. "It's even more of a privilege to own them in partnership with Gavin, the lead creator of these copyrights."
Since the band was formed, the Bush catalog has scanned about 11 million album units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. 10.6 million of those units were sales of albums in the deal, which includes the six-million seller "Sixteen Stone" and the nearly three-million seller "Razorblade Suitcase." The other album in the deal is described as 58 masters recordings on five albums, including "Science of Things," "Deconstructed" and "Zen X Four."
The deal includes the ability to create a greatest hits package, something that hasn't been done before, and the ability to digitally remaster the albums and reissue them. In addition, the agreement includes thousands of mixed media assets relating to the recording, including acoustic versions, alternative cuts, live recordings, radio mixes and music videos, according to Gruss.
"This is a really unique deal," Gruss says. "How often does the artists partner in an acquisition of their catalog?"
According to sources, the catalog has averaged about $800,000 in annual revenue, with the net label share profit after cost of goods and artist royalties is about $600,00, which means that Round Hill is paying an eight times multiple. The revenue has been growing in recent years, sources say, thanks to payments from SoundExchange. On an annualized basis the catalog's revenue is now approaching $1 million, sources say.
Kirtland Records, the seller, had acquired the Bush catalog in 2004. RED currently distributes the label. Gruss says future distribution plans are still being worked out.