Corporate regulator the Australian Competition Consumer Commission today (Nov. 16) approved Warner Music Australia’s acquisition of leading Aussie indie label Festival Mushroom Records.
WMA’s acquisition, which covers FMR’s Australian and New Zealand operations, will come into effect from Nov. 28. The combined company will operate as Warner Music Australia. As previously reported, sources value the deal at about A$10 million ($7.32 million).
A restructuring at FMR will follow, with the company’s offices in five capital cities to be closed. Of the 52 estimated current FMR staffers, WMA will retain only 11. They include business affairs director Libby Blakey and A&R manager Catherine Haridy, with the others from promotions and marketing.
Michael Parisi, formerly FMR’s managing director and recently appointed president of A&R at WMA, will now commence his new duties Nov. 28. He was previously slated to start on Jan. 1, 2006.
In a prepared statement, WMA president/CEO Ed. St John said, “We are very excited to acquire this iconic Australian music company and look forward to Nov. 28 to welcome FMR staff and artists to the Warner Music family.”
WMA has split the Mushroom and Festival units to continue to exist as label imprints. Festival was set up in the 1950s, and Mushroom in 1973. They were amalgamated in 1998 when Festival’s parent, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., bought out Mushroom’s founder Michael Gudinski’s 51% share.
WMA’s purchase does not include Festival Publishing, which is said to be sought by an Australian-based music publisher.