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Bank Robber Acquires Rough Trade Publishing

Bank Robber Industries announced today that it has acquired 50 percent of Rough Trade Publishing and will merge the company with its publishing division, House of Hassle, under the Rough Trade…

Bank Robber Industries announced today (Mar. 14) that it has acquired 50 percent of Rough Trade Publishing and will merge the company with its own publishing division, House of Hassle, under the Rough Trade Publishing name. Bank Robber, which also owns the indie TV/film music-licensing firm Bank Robber Music, has an option to acquire the remaining 50 percent of Rough Trade Publishing in two years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Bank Robber Music founder Lyle Hysen will serve as president of the new Rough Trade Publishing operation. The combined companies’ senior staff also will include Chief Strategic Officer/senior vp of legal affairs Gandhar Savur and CFO/senior vp of operations Douglas Smith, with Rough Trade Publishing co-founder Cathi Gibson staying on as managing director and heading up U.K. operations. Deputy director of A&R and creative services Matt Harris will also stay on. 

Additionally, Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis and his longtime associate and current Rough Trade Records co-director Jeanette Lee will serve as senior directors of A&R, overseeing  the company’s A&R efforts in the U.K. In the U.S., creative services for Rough Trade Publishing will be led by newly appointed head of U.S. A&R AJ Tobey and head of West Coast creative Sarah Smith. 

The merged company will have a catalog that includes songs from around 325 artists, including the War on Drugs, Future Islands, Grizzly BearAnimal Collective‘s back catalog, Interpol‘s Paul Banks, Black Mountain, Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws, the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, Mark Kozelek, Ra Ra Riot and Chelsea Wolfe. It will have operations in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles and London.

“Entering into this new partnership with Geoff Travis and Jeannette Lee marks a landmark moment for me on that same path which I set out on so many years ago,” says Hysen in a statement. “The impact that Geoff and Jeannette have made on music will last forever. I look forward to working together with them and Rough Trade Publishing to continue that incredible legacy.” 

“Jeannette and I are happy to join forces with good people who share the same philosophy of creativity, humanity and fair business practices as music publishers.” says Travis.

“We thought our vision here at House of Hassle was unique, but we soon realized Cathi Gibson and Rough Trade Publishing were doing something remarkably similar in the U.K.,” Savur says on the news. “Cathi was essentially our UK counterpart and had been actively furthering similar goals in the UK for decades. She and I began speaking regularly, discussing our shared ideas for how a global publishing company should be run in the 21st century. Our views were so obviously aligned, the decision to join forces and unite our two companies was inevitable.”