(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
Concord Records Inc. has completed its acquisition of Fantasy Inc. and has merged the two companies to form a new entity called the Concord Music Group, Inc. Concord Records is a prominent 31-year-old, active record label focused on jazz, traditional pop and adult contemporary formats that is currently enjoying considerable success in 2004 with the multi-platinum release of Ray Charles' final recording, "Genius Loves Company" (in association with Starbucks Hear Music.
Fantasy owns one of the world's largest and most prestigious catalogs of jazz, blues, R&B and rock music, including certain music publishing assets and legendary recordings by John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Vince Guaraldi, Isaac Hayes, Little Richard, Albert King, Thelonious Monk, Joe Pass, Art Pepper, Otis Redding, Sonny Rollins and numerous others. Fantasy also owns and operates the world-class Fantasy Recording Studios in Berkeley, CA. Following the merger, the Concord Music Group will be one of the foremost adult-focused recorded music companies in the world.
As part of the transaction, Tailwind Capital Partners, a leading private equity investment firm focused on media and other growth sectors of the economy, provided new equity capital to the Concord Music Group. The existing owners of Concord Records, Norman Lear and Hal Gaba, remain substantial shareholders in the combined entity. Concord's management will also have a share of the new company.
"During the negotiations and due diligence process, we got to know the principals and key employees of Concord quite well, which re-affirmed the correctness of our initial judgment that Concord is the proper home for our catalogs," said Ralph Kaffel, president of Fantasy. "Having spent 50 years in the record business, 33 of them at Fantasy building up the catalogs, my primary concern as well as that of the other principals, was that the acquiring entity should have the proper understanding and respect for the treasure that we are turning over to them, and be willing to perpetuate the historical legacy these catalogs represent. With Norman, Hal, Glen Barros and all the other talented people now at the helm at the Concord Music Group, my colleagues and I are convinced the Fantasy catalog is in very good hands."
Glen Barros, president and CEO at Concord, and now president and chief executive officer of the Concord Music Group, said, "I am incredibly honored to be in a position to help carry the Fantasy legacy into the future. I am so enthusiastic about this merger, about working with the talented professionals involved from both sides and the great opportunities for the combined companies going forward."
Douglas M. Karp and Lawrence B. Sorrel, co-chief executive officers of Tailwind, said, "Concord Music Group targets an attractive, underserved niche with strong brands and an incredible catalog of content with proven value. Together, these two companies have considerable prospects for growth by exploiting complementary catalogs as well as to create substantial shareholder value through operational efficiencies. We look forward to working together with Norman, Hal, Glen and the rest of this world-class management team to realize that promise." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen