Music Publisher BMG Buying Chrysalis in $168 Million Deal

Ben Sisario/ NY Times 11/27/10

In a deal between two of the world’s largest independent music publishers, BMG Rights Management has agreed to acquire Chrysalis for £107.4 million ($168.6 million), the companies announced on Friday.

Chrysalis has a catalog of 100,000 titles, including songs by Blondie, David Bowie and Michael Jackson.

BMG Rights Management is a joint venture between the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann and the private equity company Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. It was created after Bertelsmann sold its earlier music unit, BMG Music Publishing, to Universal Music Group in 2006 for $2.1 billion.

BMG has been rapidly bulking up its song catalog by acquiring other publishers; so far this year it has bought Evergreen, Stage 3 and Cherry Lane.

BMG Rights Management is offering Chrysalis a 46 percent premium from the company’s price on Oct. 29, the day before Chrysalis said that it was in discussions that might lead to an offer.

Billboard estimates that the acquisition would make BMG the world’s fourth-largest music publisher by global market share.

Chrysalis’s origins date to 1967, when Chris Wright and Terry Ellis, two British impresarios, founded the Ellis-Wright Agency to manage Ten Years After and other groups; they started Chrysalis Records the following year. Mr. Wright bought out his partner in 1985 and sold Chrysalis Records to EMI in 1991.

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