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Warner Music Buys Ryko

27 Mar, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

Warner Music Group has acquired Ryko Corporation, folding the funky indie music and film company into its corporate umbrella via a $67.5 million outlay funded by JPMorgan Partners Investment group.

Ryko will still exist as a separate label, like Atlantic Records, under the Warner Music Group banner. All WMG product is released via WEA Corp., which has already been handling fulfillment for Ryko products and will continue to do so.

Meanwhile, Ryko executives will work with WMG's prime pop-culture label, Rhino Entertainment, to promote its catalog in both the digital and physical spaces and develop new catalog-related business opportunities throughout WMG as well as with third-party companies.

Ryko Corporation CEO Sam Holdsworth will step down upon the completion of the sale.

Ryko Corp. includes sales and marketing division Ryko Distribution, which sells music and DVD releases from Rykodisc as well as from third-party record and video labels, such as SPV, Oh Boy, Rough Trade/Sanctuary, Blix Street, Alligator, Bloodshot, Compass Records and Blue Underground and will work alongside WMG's Alternative Distribution Alliance for new releases.

Recent Ryko DVD releases include Brian Eno's 14 Video Paintings, released in November of last year and Bill Hicks: Sane Man released in December.

Ryko owns a catalog of more than 1,000 titles of rock, folk, jazz, world, blues and alternative albums including Restless Records' celebrated catalog of punk, new wave and soundtrack recordings.

Ryko also owns the prestigious Hannibal catalog of British and American folk rock and world music, the Gramavision jazz and blues catalog, the Emperor Norton electronic and dance catalog and the Traditional catalog of historic recordings of early jazz, folk and blues, among several other label catalogs.

Select artists represented in the catalog include: Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder, Bill Hicks, Brian Eno, Frank Zappa, Joe Jackson, Kelly Willis, Richard Thompson, Soul Asylum, The Dead Milkmen, The Flaming Lips, The Misfits, The Replacements, They Might Be Giants and Ween.

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