New York's Matador Records and the UK's Beggars Group have entered into an agreement wherein Beggars is purchasing a 50% share in Matador Records, and all Matador releases will be marketed through the Beggars Group worldwide. The Beggars Group is currently home to the labels 4AD, XL Recordings, Mantra, Too Pure, Wiiija and Mo'Wax as well as Beggars Banquet, and one of the country's largest indie groups. Almost 25 years since the release of the first Beggars Banquet single, the London label has consistently released ground breaking records while establishing a group of equally ground breaking labels.
Matador Records, formed in 1989, immediately established itself at the forefront of the international independent music scene with important records by such artists as Liz Phair, and Pavement. Over the years, the label has grown considerably with such flagship artists as Cornelius, Belle and Sebastian, Cat Power and Yo La Tengo, while maintaining its unflagging commitment to artistic freedom and diversity.
As part of the agreement, Beggars in New York will move from its Soho offices, which it has now outgrown, across the road into Matador's larger Noho offices, and the Beggars Group will be substantially enlarged through the transfer of a number of Matador staff and functions from the label into the group. The enhanced Beggars Group in North America will continue to be run by Beggars CEO Lesley Bleakley and represent existing Beggars labels as well as Matador; the Matador label will continue to be run by founder Chris Lombardi together with Gerard Cosloy, Patrick Amory and those Matador staff not switching over to central roles.
Matador and Beggars are both distributed by ADA. In addition, Matador will continue to operate its direct distribution arm, with the intention of Beggars Group releases being made available through it.
Outside America, Matador will be represented by Beggars via its UK headquarters and local offices in other territories, as well as through Matador's London office, helmed by Gerard Cosloy and Mike Holdsworth.
Martin Mills, Chairman and founder of Beggars, commented:
"It is very natural that Beggars should become partners in Matador in both a musical and a business sense — what we have represented to English alternative music in the last twenty years is mirrored by Matador's position in the American alternative spectrum. We have very compatible cultures and values, and work with artists of similar outlook … the beauty of the synergies of this liaison is that Beggars' home base is in the UK whilst Matador's is in the US – we can represent them in the best possible way for their artists in the UK and overseas whilst the combination of their currently greater size in the US with our growing operation there will produce an entity which will be the best in the alternative marketplace, as well as being greater than the sum of its parts."
Gerard Cosloy commented:
"For the first time in Matador's history, we have entered into a pact with a partner whose musical and business ethos matches our own. We're pleased that this can happen while maintaining our artists' ability to make the sort of recordings they want to make." "This arrangement represents a tremendous opportunity for both of our companies. The combined expertise of the Beggars Group and Matador staffs should make for an unbeatable team."
Lesley Bleakley commented:
"It is going to be a great opportunity to be working with both the artists and the staff at Matador. I am looking forward to the upcoming challenge. The heart and soul of Matador parallels the core philosophy held at the Beggars Group, fiercely independent and artist friendly. I anticipate that the new company will be one of the strongest leading forces in the modern independent sector."
Chris Lombardi commented:
"We are thrilled to be working within such a terrific company, all of us are looking forward to work side by side with Martin, Lesley, and the rest of the Beggars staff. Our ability to expand the scope of our distribution in Europe as well as to supplement our US catalogue through our Matador Direct retail department is truly exciting. It should be a very impressive line, making Matador Direct and the enhanced Beggars Group a force to reckon with."