Warner Music Japan (WMJ) announced that it has bought a 70% stake in Tokyo-based artist services company Taisuke, effective Oct. 1.
Established in 1991 by Taisuke Morimoto as an "all-rights" music company with activities spanning artist management, recorded music and copyright administration, Taisuke currently manages leading domestic acts such as rock band Ulfuls and singer-songwriter Bonnie Pink, (both signed to WMJ).
"This is an opportunity for both Warner Music and Taisuke to build business together and to benefit our artists through the use of new business models in the Japanese marketplace," Morimoto said in a statement.
The deal marks one of the few instances that a foreign-owned record company has invested in a Japanese management company.
The company will continue to be led by Morimoto, who will work closely with WMJ president Takashi Yoshida. Morimoto will report to Warner Music Asia Pacific president Lachie Rutherford, who divides his times between Hong Kong and Tokyo.
"This is an important strategic investment for us as we continue to transform our business and expand the range of services we can offer,” Yoshida said in a statement. “Not only does this enable us to form broader partnerships with our artists, bringing someone of Mr. Morimoto's caliber on board also strengthens our expertise in areas we plan to develop further, such as live performance, ticketing, merchandise and endorsement."
Rutherford added, "We are proud to be working with Mr. Morimoto and his team to build on the excellent relationship that has already been forged between Taisuke and Warner Music Japan. Bringing these two pioneering companies closer together makes our company an attractive home for artists looking to reach their fans in new and innovative ways."