While Universal Music’s takeover of EMI Music was approved late last year, part of the agreement acquired Universal to sell off a handful of its own assets. One of those labels includes Sanctuary Records (once the label home of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and more). And this past Friday (February 15), BMG announced it had signed a binding agreement to acquire Sanctuary from Universal.
While the purchase still has to receive approval by the European Commission, Variety reports that the German company’s acquisition is valued at $62.5 million. BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch had the following to say about the purchase:
“We are delighted to have won the opportunity to work with the exceptional line-up of artists in the Sanctuary catalogue. We have made no secret of our ambition to create a new force in the music industry focused on delivering service and revenue to artists. We believe this deal will be good news for those artists, good news for our partners particularly in the independent sector and good news for the music industry as a whole.”
Granted, Sanctuary essentially ceased to act as an actual label in 2007 after being bought by Universal (at least in the U.S.). However, UMG continued the UK label’s licensing and catalogue operations, hence why Sanctuary was a highly sought after commodity. The purchase of Sanctuary now means that BMG owns the rights to 19 albums by Black Sabbath (including Paranoid), the U.S. rights to Iron Maiden’s first 13 albums, and recordings by Megadeth, Motörhead, Venom, Uriah Heep, The Kinks, Helloween and many others. This comes shortly after BMG bought Mute Records from Universal back in December 2012 (which included recordings from Depeche Mode, Moby, Nick Cave and others). In other words, get ready to see more re-releases of Black Sabbath albums in the near future.
[via BMG press release]