Ole, the Toronto-based music publisher, has acquired the music publishing catalog of Sony Pictures Entertainment for film and television releases between 1993 and 2012. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources say that the catalog, which produces about $15 million in annual net publisher's share [NPS], was sold for between $125-$150 million.
The catalog includes composition from a variety of TV shows like "Wheel of Fortune," "Breaking Bad," "Dawson's Creek," "The Nanny," "Rescue Me," and films such as "Angels & Demons," "The Da Vinci Code," "Groundhog Day," "Jumanji," "Legends of the Fall," "Mr. Deeds," "The Patriot," "The Quick and the Dead," "Step Brothers," "Stuart Little," and and "Hotel Transylvania."
"This is a transformative deal for ole," said company CEO Robert Ott. "This deal will double our NPS [net publisher share] to about $35 million annually, which puts us in the upper mid-tier of the music publishing companies out there."
In addition, the deal bolsters a core strategy, which is to build TV and film assets alongside traditional publishing assets like hit songs. With the music attached to the picture assets, its distribution is controlled by Sony Pictures, which owns the movies and television shows. But Ott says that ole will look "to augment their distribution efforts. "If we can find innovative ways to get the programs out and around the world in other media, we will certainly feed Sony those opportunities."
But beyond that, Ott expects to be aggressive in looking for synchronization opportunities and bringing the music from the portfolio to ancillary products. "We don't take a passive position," he says. "We have a great opportunity to add value."
The deal broadens the company's stake in the film and music sector. In 2011, it acquired the catalog of Los-Angeles-based music production company, the MusicBox, which brought into the fold 24,000 songs, giving ole a portfolio of 150,000 tracks created for television and film.
"I would agree that that the film and television component of our catalog is high right now, but we still have vibrant, mainstream music publishing catalogs," Ott says." We are still at the size where we can be nimble. We have the capitol to continue to acquire and still make deals. That is the main goal of our company."
Sony Pictures Entertainment is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. Ole was founded in 2004 and financed by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and has operations in Toronto, Nashville, New York and Los Angeles.
Ole will also work closely with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which serves as the administrator for the Sony Pictures entertainment music publishing catalog. Sources say Sony/ATV Music Publishing will continue to handle those responsibilities for several years.