Primary Wave Acquires Stake in Rough Trade Publishing in $5 Million Funding Deal

Billboard Biz 2016
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Indie music publisher Primary Wave Music Publishing has acquired an equity interest in Rough Trade Publishing, the companies announced on Friday. As part of the deal, valued in excess of $5 million, Primary Wave will help fund Rough Trade Publishing's efforts in signing co-publishing deals with artists, and it opens both companies up to collaboration on marketing and synchronization efforts.

"We had been looking to partner with another company that is as motivated as we are to sign bands and do exciting deals," said Gandhar Savur, svp legal affairs at Rough Trade Publishing, in a statement. "We've finally met our match with Primary Wave. We couldn't be more excited for what the future holds."

The partnership arrives roughly 13 months after Bank Robber Industries acquired a 50 percent stake in Rough Trade Publishing and merged it with its in-house publishing division, House of Hassle, under the Rough Trade Publishing name. The company's catalog includes songs from hundreds of artists, including the War on Drugs, Future Islands, Grizzly Bear, the Magnetic Fields, Against Me! and Nada Surf's Matthew Caws. It's based in New York, with offices in Nashville, Los Angeles and London.

Rough Trade's first signings since finalizing the Primary Wave deal were with the bands LVL UP (Sub Pop) and 888 (Island).

Primary Wave was founded in 2006 and over the years has held the copyrights of over 15,000 songs from the catalogs of artists such as Smokey Robinson, Steven Tyler, John Lennon, Def Leppard, Hall & Oates, Chicago, Maurice White, Graham Parker and many others.

"Rough Trade is a legendary brand in the music business," said Primary Wave's president, Justin Shukat. "Their vision and hard working team made Rough Trade Publishing an ideal company for us to do business with."


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