Business

Concord Bicycle Music Acquires Mexican Indie Musart Music Group

Joan Sebastian arrives at the 2012 Latin Grammy Awards
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy

Joan Sebastian arrives at the 2012 Latin Grammy Awards held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on November 15, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Concord Bicycle Music has acquired the Musart Music Group, the Mexican indie powerhouse music company which has 70,000 copyrights in its publishing divisions and 4,000 albums in its label's catalog. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources say that the company has annual revenues of about $10 million.

Musart, founded in 1948 by Eduardo Baptista Covarrubias and still run as a family business, operates the publishing divisions of Edimusa Mexico and Vander USA as well as record imprints Discos Musart Mexico, Balboa Records USA and Panart Cuba. Its recording artists and songwriters include Antonio Aguilar, Oscar D’Leon, Laberinto, Pepe Aguilar, Los Player'sGloria Trevi, and Joan Sebastian.

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Its song catalog includes “El Mariachi Loco”, “Llorando Se Fue”, and “On the Floor” (Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull). In addition to being a top player in Mexico, the company also administers music from Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba and includes a wide range of Latin genres such as Norteno, Ranchera, Grupera, Banda, Tropical, Pop, Mariachi and Cuban.

“Musart represents one of the most important independent music companies in Mexican history,” Concord Bicycle Music CEO Scott Pascucci said in a statement. “While the catalog’s roots run deep into the foundation of Mexican culture, over 50 percent of the earnings now come from the USA, making it a very culturally important American catalog as well. The Baptista family has built and managed a wonderful music company for over 65 years and we are quite honored to be the next caretakers of this music, history and culture.”

The deal furthers Concord Bicycle’s reputation as an industry consolidator, having acquired High Tone Records, Rounder Records, Vanguard, Razor & Tie Sugar Hill Records and Wind-Up Records.

Concord Bicycle’s Chief Corporate Development Officer Steve Salm sourced and negotiated the deal for Musart. 

While Concord Bicycle has been aggressively gobbling up publishing catalogs and record labels, the Musart deal represents its first thrust into the Latin America market as it continues to search for investment opportunities in music assets with broad upside potential. Its move into Musart comes as the Latin consumer -- who largely sat out on the digital download phenomenon -- continues to aggressively embrace streaming through mobile phones.

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“For seven decades Musart and Edimusa have been Latin America's premier independent label and publisher,” Musart’s president/chairman Eduardo Baptista Lucio said in a statement. “In deciding to move forward with this transaction, we carefully chose Concord Bicycle to take over our family's legacy. Few companies in the industry have performed the way they have, their growth and depth of catalog speak for themselves."

Concord has pacted with the family to serve as sub-publishers for the catalog in Mexico and Colombia, according to Salm. “They will also as well as help us manage the masters catalog as well south of the border and provide us with general consulting on catalog marketing, re-issues, and artist relations,” Salm adds.

Musart will continue to be distributed by Sony for physical and its Orchard operation for digital for the few years left on that distribution agreement, according to sources.