Sony buys Century Media

As reported on Wyrd Ways Rock Show News yesterday, it transpires that Sony Music Entertainment has indeed bought Century Media Records. The deal, which was first reported by Music Business Worldwide, has been in the works for months.

Sources say Sony paid about $20 million for the company, which squares with the $17 million quoted yesterday.  The actual price has not been disclosed by any of the parties involved.

The deal further enhances Sony’s presence (mostly through the likes of Epic and Colombia Records) in the Rock and Metal market. As a distributor, Sony Music Entertainment, with the acquisition of CM, has a 33.6% share in the US album market, making them top dogs.

As part of the deal, Robert Kampf stays on as CEO of the Century group, and the label will continue to be distributed by RED in the US, whilst Sony picks up international distribution. While the label group will become a wholly-owned subsidiary, sources say the deal did not include the company’s music publishing assets.

In a statement, RED Distribution president Bob Morelli said that the deal will further strengthen the company’s successful partnership with Kampf and his team through Sony’s expanded global relationship.

Century is one of the best hard rock labels in the business and Robert is an accomplished executive who understands the genre like few others,” Morelli said. “We are excited to continue working with Century to grow the business for their talented roster of artists.

Sony Music Entertainment executive VP of international, Adam Granite, said in a statement that the deal will provide “a tremendous opportunity to grow our respective hard rock and heavy metal businesses globally.

Kampf will report to both Granite and Dennis Kooker, Sony Music Entertainment president of global digital business and US sales.

The company I founded over 25 years ago is moving into its strongest chapter yet with the best music company in the world, Sony Music,” Kampf said in a statement. He added, by working with Sony and RED, it will allow Century’s labels “to further grow…as a dominant force in rock, prog, alternative and metal.”

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