THE Sanctuary Records label – home to artists Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden – is being bought by German record label group BMG.
Sanctuary, which is currently owned by record giant Universal Music, was put up for sale due to regulatory issues after Universal’s acquisition of EMI for £1.2bn last September.
The deal, reportedly worth £40m, will see a catalogue of more than 170,000 recordings – including The Kinks’ iconic songs You Really Got Me and Waterloo Sunset, and Motörhead albums Ace of Spades, No Sleep ’til Hammersmith and Overkill – transfer to BMG.
Hartwig Masuch, chief executive of BMG, said: “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.”
He added: “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.”
The European Commission backed the takeover of EMI by Universal Music last year on the condition it sells several record labels, after it was concerned that Universal would become too powerful if it swallowed EMI whole.
It is the second agreement BMG has struck as part of Universal’s programme to offload labels.
In December, it agreed in principle to buy the Mute Records catalogue, which includes recordings by Depeche Mode, Erasure, Moby and Nick Cave. Both deals are subject to European Commission approval. Earlier this month, Universal agreed to sell the Parlophone music label – which was formerly part of EMI Music and includes records by Coldplay, Tinie Tempah and Kylie Minogue – to Warner Music Group for £487m. BMG, which is a joint venture between German media company Bertelsmann and the US private equity firm KKR, has built up the rights to more than one million songs and recordings.