Concord Music Acquires Samuel French, Storied Theatrical Publisher

Jeremy Daniel
Charlotte d’Amboise as Roxie Hart in Chicago

Concord Music announced on Monday the acquisition of iconic theatre licensor and publisher Samuel French, which will help anchor Concord Theatricals, a new umbrella company housing all of its theatrical concerns. Along with Samuel French, Concord Theatricals is comprised of the licensing catalogs of Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals, Tams-Witmark and Concord's joint venture with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, The Musical Company.

Samuel French, founded in Boston by its namesake in 1830, has a catalog of over 10,000 titles, including plays by Tennessee Williams, Neil Simon, Lorraine Hansberry and August Wilson, as well as a trove of musicals including Chicago, Grease, The Secret GardenThe Wiz and Fun Home, among many others.

Leading Concord Theatricals will be Sean Patrick Flahaven, founding CEO of The Musical Company. He'll report to Concord Music chief publishing executive Jake Wisely. Longtime Samuel French president Nathan Collins will take on the role of general manager of Concord Theatricals, reporting to Flahaven. Other senior staff at the new theatrical division includes Victoria Traube, Imogen Lloyd Webber, Abbie Van Nostrand, Amy Rose Marsh and Vivien Goodwin.

"Samuel French adds to Concord Theatricals a broad diversity of rights, relationships, experience and executive talent, along with a great family legacy that will continue to flourish with Nate and Abbie’s participation,” comments Wisely. “French also broadens our existing relationships and business synergies, as we now represent all of the musicals of Marvin Hamlisch, both the stage rights and film and TV music rights of Agatha Christie Ltd., as well as various recordings and now the plays of Steve Martin. With Samuel French, Concord is no longer just music."

Bringing Samuel French into the fold continues Concord's ongoing investment in theatre, which began in 2011 when it  acquired the catalog of Marvin Hamlisch, the Pulitzer/Emmy/Grammy/Oscar/Tony-award winning composer of A Chorus Line. Recently, the company participated in the creation of two new musicals, Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill and Soul: The Stax Musical, and on the label side, Concord Music's Craft Recordings released the 2018 Broadway cast recording of Rogers & Hammerstein's Carousel.

"The Samuel French team is incredibly excited to join the Concord Theatricals family," states Collins. "For 188 years, Samuel French has been the iconic name in theatrical licensing and publishing and this merger will enable us to continue to provide our clients with the most innovative products, dynamic marketing and transparent reporting. Under Sean’s leadership, we will build upon the great catalogs of the two organizations and create the preferred home for the works of playwrights, composers and lyricists."

Financial details surrounding the deal were not disclosed. Lisbeth R. Barron and Barron International Group, LLC acted as financial advisor to Samuel French for the transaction.