Concord Bicycle Music has acquired Imagem, giving it control of the Rodgers & Hammerstein and Boosey & Hawkes catalogs, as well as either the global or European rights to such songwriters as Kaiser Chiefs, Justin Timberlake, Wynton Marsalis, Phil Collins, Genesis, The Temper Trap, Vampire Weekend, M.I.A. and Daft Punk, among others. Sources say Concord paid close to $600 million for the company.
The acquisition of Imagem, first reported by the New York Times, would make Bicycle Music the sixth largest music publisher in the world, Billboard estimates. The Boosey & Hawkes classical music catalog represents a new wrinkle for Concord Bicycle, but the rest of the Imagem catalog fits nicely in the company’s game plan of owning iconic songs for its music-publishing arm and putting out heritage artists through its labels.
The deal occurs two years after a busted auction in which Imagem failed to realize bids of at at least $650 million, the amount of money Dutch Pension Fund ABP and music publishing firm CP Masters invested in jointly building Imagem. At the time, Imagem had $53 million in net publisher’s share, or gross profit, but $4 million of that was sold off when ole acquired Imagem’s production music library. This time out, the successful auction was run by Shot Tower Capital, which also ran the deal for the Jackson estate that sold its 50 percent of Sony/ATV to Sony Corp.