European independent PIAS has partnered with BMG to provide digital and physical retail marketing, sales, manufacturing, and distribution services for its recently-acquired Sanctuary and Mute catalogs.

The deal, which covers the world, excluding North America, sees PIAS become the catalog partner for more than 100,000 Sanctuary/Mute recordings owned by BMG, although it is believed that works by Depeche Mode (Mute) and Black Sabbath (Sanctuary) are not included in the terms of the agreement.  

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In addition to providing digital and physical retail marketing and distribution services, PIAS will also collaborate with BMG on campaign planning and shipment control. BMG, meanwhile, will register works, as well as managing royalty accounting, sales reporting and sync, according to reports.

Commenting on the deal, BMG EVP international repertoire Fred Casimir said in a statement: “We are delighted to be working with PIAS. We were particularly attracted by their spirit of independence and their international network in the key markets.”

Adrian Pope, managing director of PIAS artist and label services, added in a statement: “PIAS has a potent combination of experience, great systems, specialist expertise and an established international network of offices and partners. BMG has clearly established a reputation as a company which genuinely cares about the rights and repertoire that they hold. Together we share a common goal in working collaboratively to really bring to the surface a raft of repertoire that has huge potential, not least in the continually evolving and globalized digital markets.”

As previously reported, BMG Rights Management purchased the Mute back catalog from Universal Music Group in December 2012 for approximately £7 million ($10 million), according to sources close to the deal. The catalog, which includes records by Depeche Mode, Erasure, Moby, Goldfrapp and Nick Cave, was among the assets that Universal Music Group was required to divest in order to receive regulatory clearance for its purchase of EMI’s recorded music division.

BMG Acquires Mute Records Catalog

BMG Rights Management acquired the Sanctuary catalog from UMG in February this year for a reported sum of approximately £40 million ($60 million). Sanctuary’s catalog includes titles by Black Sabbath, the Kinks, Motorhead, Iron Maiden and Uriah Heap, among others.        

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It was also reported today that PIAS is to open a New York office in June, headed by Sean Maxson, previously general manager for Co-Op USA.

PIAS originally acquired Co-Op from Universal Music (as part of the major’s regulatory divestment) earlier this year with the deal approved by EC regulators in March.

"Together with our labels and local partners we have been gradually building [PIAS] from a pan-European company to a global operation,” Edwin Schroter, PIAS Group managing director told Music Week. ”The opening of a New York office with a dedicated [PIAS] team is an exciting but natural step in our localized approach to building a global business and worldwide independent network for labels and artists.”

Founded in 1982 by Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot, PIAS has offices in London, Hamburg, Paris, Anderlecht, Amsterdam, Dublin, Madrid, Melbourne, Gothenburg and Los Angeles, where it operates under the name PIAS America.

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