LOS ANGELES – Loeb & Loeb LLP advised Windswept Music Holdings, one of the world’s most successful independent music publishers, on its acquisition by Bug Music, Inc. Bug’s acquisition of Windswept Holdings, LLC was announced on July 13 by John Rudolph, CEO of Bug Music, Inc. and Ichiro Asatsuma, Chairman of FujiPacific Music, Inc. (Japan’s largest independent music publisher, and a subsidiary of Fuji Television Network, Inc., as well as the former parent of Windswept). The acquisition and merger creates one of the largest independent music publishers in North America. The new catalog offers a wider selection of services for Bug’s and Windswept’s songwriters and publishers and a broader, more diverse catalog of compositions for licensors in TV, film, advertising, video games and new media.
John Frankenheimer, Co-Chair of Loeb & Loeb and head of the firm’s music practice, provided Windswept with publishing and intellectual property advice and orchestrated the sales process. Frankenheimer has negotiated the sale or acquisition of some of the largest music publishing catalogs in history, representing billions of dollars over the past half dozen years. Additionally, he represents a diverse group of clients including the Grateful Dead (including their recent precedent-setting licensing agreement with the Warner Music Group), Univision Music Group, Diana Ross, Vince Gill, Gaylord Entertainment, Sony BMG and Frontline Management.
Other recent music industry deals Frankenheimer has been involved in include:
- Representation of Bertelsmann AG in their sale of BMG Music Publishing for EUR 1.63 billion (approximately US $2.09 billion) to winning bidders, Vivendi and its subsidiary Universal Music Group.
- In the $2.6 billion acquisition of Warner Music Group, Frankenheimer represented the investors Edgar Bronfman, Jr.; Thomas H. Lee Partners; Bain Capital; and Providence Equity Partners group, and served as IP and trademark counsel and advisor in connection to recording industry matters.
Frankenheimer said of the larger trend in the music publishing marketplace (Billboard 7/28/07), “More and more we see situations where parties are looking for something beyond just the price. They may want to form strategic alliances and create other synergies for their companies as part of the deal.”
Windswept consistently ranks as a top 10 Billboard music publisher, and has recently been on the charts with blockbuster artists and music icons such as Gwen Stefani, Destiny's Child, Beyonce, Keith Urban, Corinne Bailey Rae, Vince Gill, Joss Stone, Michael W. Smith, Snow Patrol, Gretchen Wilson, Kings Of Leon, Mary J. Blige, Fergie, Enrique Iglesias, Il Divo, Josh Groban and many others. Windswept was formed in 1999 by veteran music publishers Evan Medow, Jonathan Stone and Fujipacific. The company was bolstered by the 2003 acquisition of the Trio/Quartet catalog from Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The Windswept and Trio/Quartet catalogs include approximately 50,000 copyrights.
Founded in 1975, Bug is one of the world’s leading music publishers. With the acquisition of Windswept and Trio/Quartet, Bug now owns and/or manages approximately 250,000 copyrights. The Company has built a strong reputation as the “songwriter’s” publisher by vigorously supporting copyrights of songwriters and publishers and providing personalized administrative and creative services. Bug songs currently appear throughout the Billboard charts and can be heard in ad campaigns by Levi’s, Lincoln Mercury and Carnival Cruise Lines among others. Bug Music is independently owned by Crossroads Media, Dan and Fred Bourgoise and management. Crossroads Media shareholders include Bug Chairman Tom McGrath, Spectrum Equity Investors and Columbia Partners Private Capital. John Rudolph, who was recently elected to the Board of the National Music Publisher’s Association, will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the new combined Bug Music, with David Hirshland also continuing in his role as President.
About Loeb & Loeb LLP: Loeb & Loeb LLP is a multi-service national law firm with 275 attorneys focusing on select core industries and practice areas, rather than endeavoring to be all things to all clients, and is recognized as a leading law firm in the areas of securities offerings; mergers and acquisitions, litigation; entertainment and media law; finance; real estate; intellectual property; private equity; employment; advertising and promotions and tax and wealth services. The firm represents multi-national, Fortune 100 companies in the firm’s core practice areas, and serves as primary outside counsel to a multitude of mid-market clients. The firm also represents high tech start-ups and high net worth individuals and families. The firm has four domestic offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Nashville and an affiliation in Asia and Europe.