Sony Music's Merch Outfit Expands Global Reach With Probity Acquisition

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Metallica (L-R) Robert Trujillo, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett perform at the 5th Annual Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia on May 2, 2013 in Los Angeles.

The UK-based company has a roster of clients that includes Metallica and Oasis.

Sony Music’s merchandise division The Thread Shop is acquiring Probity, in independent European merch company that boasts the likes of Metallica, Oasis, Robert Plant, Rage Against the Machine and more on its roster of artists for which it deals merchandise on the continent.

It’s the latest move for Sony’s merch wing, as it sets its eyes on expansion geographically with the acquisition. And it follows the August 2019 acquisition of the merch division of The Araca Group, which has worked with artists like Led Zeppelin, Shania Twain and P!nk.

Probity will now become a division on its own within the Thread Shop structure, with founder Mark Stredwick remaining at the helm and reporting to the head of Thread Shop Howard Lau.

“We are very pleased to be further enhancing the reach and competitive capabilities of The Thread Shop around the world with the welcome additions of Mark Stredwick and the Probity team," Lau said in a statement. "Probity is an established independent leader in the European merch market representing some of the world’s most iconic music artists. Together we can offer our artist clients and the music community an even more robust set of merchandising opportunities to complement their music revenues, branding and marketing.”

The Thread Shop has a formidable artist roster that includes The Beatles, Zeppelin, P!nk, Camila Cabello, Maluma and Bob Dylan among its clientele. Last December, the company also inked a deal with the Jimi Hendrix estate to sell Hendrix merch worldwide, which followed a deal with The Beatles for a new line of merch as well.

“We are delighted to fully cement the organic relationship we had already developed with Howard and Sony Thread Shop," Stredwick said in a statement. "The deal with Sony allows our growing roster to tap into more opportunities globally and benefit from innovative and creatively driven merchandising programs that Thread Shop deliver with such passion.”

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