JOHANNESBURG (CelebrityAccess) – Superstar South African DJ Black Coffee has acquired a significant stake in Gallo Music Investments (GMI), South Africa’s largest and oldest independent label.
The deal was announced Wednesday by Black Coffee’s investment holding company, FlightMode Digital, which was estbalished in 2017 and has equity stakes in some of Africa’s top startups including Yoco, Andela, Sweep South and Rensource. He acquired the stake in GMI from Lebashe Investment Group for an undisclosed sum.
GMI was purchased by Lebashe from Tiso Blackstar for R75 million (approximately $4.3m) in March and was incorporated into news and entertainment business Arena Holdings, which is 100 percent owned by Lebashe.
Lebashe Chairman Tshepo Mahloele said: “We are delighted that South Africa’s most extensive musical archives reside within Arena Holdings, and it is our intention to explore and reintroduce these amazing classical archives to our mainstream market, locally and globally. The collaboration with internationally renowned DJ Black Coffee will usher in a new era for the South African music business on a global scale.”
Black Coffee added: “This is the first of many moves we are working on to change the landscape of both the South African and African music industry. The music in the Gallo catalog is some of the most culturally rich that has ever been created in this country. The partnership with Lebashe to invest in the catalog and masters, is more than just a business transaction – it’s about creating an environment in which artists and creatives have a truly equitable stake. It is also the beginning of an industry revolution where African artists are part of structures that are fair and encourage new ways to monetize content.”
Gallo has been in business for more than 90 years and is focused on the acquisition of music rights, representing artists, recording, manufacturing, digital and physical distribution, and the sale of pre-recorded music and video in South Africa and internationally. Its artist roster includes some of the biggest names to come out of South Africa, including Lucky Dube, Dorothy Masuka, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Stimela, & Sipho Hotstix Mabuse and Mango Groove among others.