Australian independent music company Shock has a new owner.
Regency Media, one of the country's largest independent manufacturers and distributors of CDs and DVDs, has acquired the assets of Shock. Financial details were not disclosed.
Melbourne-based Shock has endured a torrid time of late. The label/distribution group today admitted bank funding had collapsed, citing the global financial crisis and tough market conditions. Back in early June, Shock took severe measures to cope with the downturn when it shuttered three arms, including its Shock Music Publishing business, to focus on its core businesses (Billboard.biz, June 8).
Both Regency and Shock will continue trading under their own names.
Following the transaction, Shock's chairman David Williams becomes its CEO, while co-founder Frank Falvo continues in a consultancy role.
"It's business as usual," Williams tells Billboard.biz. "It's a sad closing of a chapter, but it's one which presents some great opportunities. With Regency's strength in the market, the future is a bright one."
The arrangement creates Australia's largest independent entertainment conglomerate, according to a statement issued today. "The market needs a strong Australian owned company to support local industry," said Regency Media managing director Fiona Horman in the notice.
"Regency Media has been manufacturing for Shock over many years," she added, "so we are pleased that we can be their 'white knight' and now work together as a united team and build on our existing relationship."
The enlarged company, continued Horman, will give artists an "even greater opportunity to compete on the world stage, while continuing to provide a solid home for our international partners."
Williams adds that the amalgamation will bring with it some "synergistic changes." Shock's warehouse facilities will relocate to Sydney, and there will be an unspecified number of job losses among the company's 90 staff.
Regency Media's origins date back to the 1950s. Headquartered in Melbourne, its empire encompasses DVD and CD replication, packaging, design and distribution logistics. In 2007, the firm forged a joint venture with India music company Saregama India to manufacture CDs, video CDs and DVDs for the Indian market.
Shock represents a stable of labels, including Epitaph, V2/Co-Op, Cooking Vinyl, Vagrant, Eagle Vision, New West, Daptone, Rough Trade, Fat and domestically Resist and Compass Brothers. The music firm had an inauspicious beginning, founded in 1988 as an import business run out of a spare room in a Melbourne terrace house. All told, Shock claims to have shifted more than 100 million CDs and DVDs, generating more than $200 million Australian ($182 million) in artist royalties.
"This [deal] gives us the opportunity to continue on with the business we set up 22 years ago," says Williams.