U.K. independent music powerhouse Beggars Group has acquired indie Rough Trade Records for £800,000 ($1.6 million) in cash, with immediate effect.
London-based Beggars said today it has reached an agreement with Sanctuary Group to buy the 49% stake in Rough Trade which it did not own.
Moving forward, Rough Trade will continue to operate from its Golborne Road offices in London, while Beggars will assume central office functions. The Rough Trade specialist retail chain does not figure in the deal.
Rough Trade’s owners have described the deal as a perfect fit, noting “we share a culture that is about our artists and their work.”
In a statement issued today, Rough Trade founders Geoff Travis and Jeannette Lee said, “To continue to be a wholly-independent label, with the support of the Beggars Group, is the best of all possible worlds to our way of thinking.”
“We are genuinely excited about the future and the opportunity to bring new records and new artists to then world’s attention.”
Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills adds, “It was impossible to resist the appeal of combining their amazing musical heritage with ours. Adding them to everything that’s going on here for our existing group of record labels is a very exciting proposition.”
Financially-pressed Sanctuary, which itself is in the process of being bought by Universal Music Group, was known to be shopping its Rough Trade asset for a number of months.
In Britain, Rough Trade has cultivated near-iconic status as the label-home to a pool of diverse talent, including the Strokes, the Libertines, Arcade Fire, Jarvis Cocker and Sufjan Stevens.
The Beggars Group of labels includes XL, Matador, and Too Pure.