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Sanctuary Acquires World Online Merchandising

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire)
London-based Sanctuary Group has acquired New York based World Online Merchandising. Among WOM's key music clients are Elton John, Simon & Garfunkel, N*E*R*D, Mis-teeq and Lisa Marie Presley. Financial terms were not disclosed. However, WOM had net assets of $2.26 million as of February 29.

Sanctuary has integrated WOM into Bravado, its merchandising company. Bravado's 50+ clients include Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Gorillaz, Celine Dion, Craig David, Oasis, Iron Maiden and Depeche Mode.

Andy Taylor, Sanctuary's executive chairman, says the purchase of World Online Merchandising "builds on our strength in the area of merchandising and visual-rights licensing and importantly gives us a major presence in the United States, the world's largest market for visual rights, as well as an impressive client base."

As a result of the acquisition, World Online Merchandising CEO Tom Bennett becomes CEO of Bravado Merchandising Inc./Sanctuary Merchandising North America. He reports to Bravado Group CEO Barry Drinkwater.

Sanctuary entered the merchandising arena in January 2002 with the acquisition of Bravado International. Bravado is part of Sanctuary's Artist Services division which includes Sanctuary Management (artist management), Tour Production (tour logistics), Helter Skelter (booking agency), Platinum Travel International Ltd., (Sanctuary's in-house travel agency) and Producer Management. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen