Universal Music Group Buys Eagle Rock Entertainment

Universal Music Group has acquired Eagle Rock Entertainment, the company started by Terry Shand that specializes in music video programming for television and DVDs. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Billboard estimates that UMG paid about $50 million for Eagle Rock, which has annual revenue in the region of $55 million.

The deal adds to UMG's catalog nearly 2,000 hours of music video programming and 800 titles, including concerts and documentaries from the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, the Who, Queen, Jeff Beck, the Doors, Peter Gabriel and Paul McCartney. Eagle Rock also issues music albums, including recent titles from Ronnie Wood, Lindsay Buckingham, Gary Moore, Styx and Counting Crows. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Eagle Rock's U.S. market share is 0.17% this year and 0.22% last year. Since it's already distributed by UMG, all of its market share is already claimed by the major.

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In addition to bringing its catalog into UMG, Eagle Rock, which is expected to run as an ongoing operation, will use its expertise in working on the UMG catalog, producing video content and artist-based bundles. Moreover, UMG hopes to exploit its latest acquisition in the emerging digital and mobile platforms.

"As we continue UMG's transformation to a music-based content company, expanding our audio-visual catalog and production expertise is critical," UMG chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge said in a statement adding that Eagle Rock co-founder Terry Shand "has built Eagle Rock into a world-class content company and a leading force in distributing top music-based audio-visual programming."

Shand and other executives from Castle Communications formed the company in the late 1990s. Since then the company's equity traded hands a few times with BMG, Edel and HG Capital holding stakes in the company at one time or another.

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In a statement, Shand, who will stay on board and lead the company, said his team is looking "forward to growing Eagle Rock in the coming years by producing more great content and benefiting from the digital revolution that is taking the audio-visual space by storm."

The deal closed yesterday, April 7, and didn't need regulatory approval. Ironically, Billboard estimates that Eagle Rock revenue-wise is equivalent to the size of Sanctuary and the Mute catalog, two of the assets UMG had to sell in order to gain regulatory approval to acquire EMI's recorded music operation. In order to complete that deal, UMG also had to sell off Parlophone, which means that it mainly acquired the Capitol Music Group.