Scott Borchetta has decided not to sell his company, the Big Machine Label Group, at least for now, and has re-signed a distribution agreement with Universal Music Group that will give him full ownership of Republic Nashville, according to sources.
While a number of companies were said to be interested in acquiring Big Machine — he had talks with Sony Music Entertainment, the Warner Music Group, iHeartMedia, Snapchat and some private equity firms — in the end, he apparently didn’t get the deal he wanted. Sources initially suggested he was looking for a valuation of $225 million to $250 million, but added that interested parties looking at the company were putting the valuation at around $185 million to $200 million, largely because of the Taylor Swift contract, which still has one studio album and a greatest hits album left on its deal; and because of Borchetta’s value as a top industry executive.
Other sources say money wasn’t the only thing that Borchetta wanted out of a deal. If his company was bought by Sony or the Warner Music Group, he also sought to be the heir apparent to the current CEO’s running those respective companies.
According to sources, Borchetta was initially approached by a third party to sell the label, and after that he decided to test the waters. Borchetta and his shareholders retain 100 percent ownership of a — now much bigger — Big Machine. Big Machine’s total industry market share including track equivalent albums is 1.7 percent year to date while his Valory imprint provides an additional 0.27 percent and now the Republic Nashville label adds another 0.37 percent for a total market share of 2.34 percent.
In addition to gaining full ownership of Republic Nashville, the UMG deal also provides Big Machine with a lower distribution fee, sources say.
Representatives from Big Machine and Universal Music Group weren’t immediately available for comment.