WMG Acquires Ryko For $67.5 Million
March 24, 2006 at 10:49 AM (PT)
WARNER MUSIC GROUP (WMG) announced this morning (3/24) it has acquired RYKO CORPORATION from an investment group led by JPMORGAN PARTNERS for $67.5 million. RYKO CEO SAM HOLDSWORTH, who was a partner in the JPMORGAN PARTNERS investment group, will step down following the completion of the sale.
RYKO owns an extensive catalog of more than 1,000 titles of rock, folk, jazz, world, blues, and alternative. RYKO DISTRIBUTION will work alongside WMG’s ALTERNATIVE DISTRIBUTION ALLIANCE (ADA), and WEA, forming a combined distribution network that further establishes WMG as the U.S. distribution leader of independent music.
In making the announcement, WMG Chairman & CEO LYOR COHEN said, "Recognized as a leader in independent music with a diverse catalog spanning many musical genres and eras, and an award-winning independent distribution company and label, RYKO is a perfect complement to WMG’s existing businesses. By applying WMG’s marketing expertise, strength in the digital space and its leading position in U.S. independent distribution, we’re confident that we will be able to maximize RYKO’s value. We look forward to working with RYKO’s talented and passionate team in realizing RYKO’s potential."
"The RYKODISC label has a keen sense for independent A&R and artist development and was a 2005 NARM label of the year," notes WEA CORP. President & CEO JOHN ESPOSITO. "RYKO DISTRIBUTION has a sterling reputation as a distributor, having been named NARM’s Distributor of the Year, Medium Division, for five of the last seven years. As the provider of RYKO’s fulfillment services over the last few years, WEA already has a great working relationship with RYKO DISTRIBUTION’s JIM CUOMO and his excellent management team and staff, and we are delighted to welcome them, along with WILLIAM HEIN and the RYKODISC label team, to the WMG family."
RYKO DISTRIBUTION President JIM CUOMO said, "Through their continued rock steady success at ADA, WMG has demonstrated both respect for, and an understanding of, the unique needs of the independent community. We're extremely pleased to be part of an organization that recognizes the importance of preserving the RYKO culture and that can provide us with the resources to supercharge our current capabilities and offer our labels the finest independent distribution services available."