Canadian music pioneer Bernie Finkelstein sold True North Records, the company he created in 1969, to Mississauga, Ont.-based Linus Entertainment in a deal announced today.
"It's been a long, interesting and fulfilling road starting and building True North these past 38 years but all things must change," Finkelstein said. "It's been a thrill to work with all the wonderful musicians and on all of the great records we've done together over the years but it's time for True North to have new direction and energy."
Finkelstein will remain with the company as its chairman, and continues to have a small equity stake in the business. True North's catalog includes Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, Rough Trade as well as alt-rock band Golden Dogs.
Linus Entertainment, founded in 2001 by former Virgin/EMI A&R executive Geoff Kulawick, has a variety of acts in its catalog, including Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot, former I Mother Earth singer Edwin, and Ron Sexsmith.
Both companies are distributed by Universal Music in Canada.
Kulawick will become CEO of the combined company, which will have seven employees. Two job cuts occurred as part of the merger, Kulawick said, and no financial details were disclosed. Two additional investors, Harvey Glatt, and Mike Pilon, participated in the acquisition.
"I love music and I believe in music as a business and Harvey and Mike have the same opinion," said Kulawick. "We love music and think now is a good time to invest in music. I tend to zig when everyone else zags. I grew up dreaming of owning a label like True North."
The two labels will have approximately 20 active acts on their combined rosters, and Linus acquired all of True North's publishing except that of Bruce Cockburn.