Sony Music Entertainment announced it has reached an agreement with Kobalt Music Group Ltd (Kobalt) to acquire AWAL, Kobalt’s indie label services division, as well as Kobalt Neighbouring Rights, one of the leading performance rights collection agencies for indie labels and artists.
The deal, which is worth a reported $430 million, has already drawn scrutiny from anti-trust regulators in the UK, with the Competition and Markets Authority announcing on Wednesday that it has launched a review of the proposed transaction and its effect on the label industry.
If completed, the sale will see AWAL and Neighbouring Rights recast as a new division within Sony Music’s existing independent artist and label services offerings, supported by Sony’s existing indie distribution company The Orchard.
Following the completion of the proposed transaction, Lonny Olinick will remain AWAL’s CEO, Sony said.
“Our investment in AWAL’s continued growth gives us another level of service to offer the independent music community. With their flexible solutions to building artist careers, together we will offer creators more exciting choices to connect with their audience worldwide,” said Sony Music Chairman Rob Stringer.
“The AWAL team has futuristically enabled artists to deliver their creative vision since its inception. Now, as part of the global Sony ecosystem, we can dramatically expand on this vision for them. We are also excited to build on our innovative neighboring rights as well as DIY platforms with extended support from The Orchard.”