Herbert Smith Freehills has advised BMG on the acquisition of J Albert & Son Pty Limited, also known as Alberts.
Alberts has a 131 year history in the Australian music industry, having published songs and released records from many of the greatest names in Australian music including AC/DC, The Easybeats and their songwriters Harry Vanda, George Young and Stevie Wright, John Paul Young and Rose Tattoo. The company also now hosts a roster of contemporary writers including Montaigne, Megan Washington, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Pyke, Urthboy, the Cat Empire and San Cisco.
Alberts will form part of BMG Australia, BMG’s Sydney-based business which launched three months ago, and has already signed contemporary Australian talent including Peking Duk, Wolfmother, LDRU, The Living End’s Chris Cheney and Wave Racer.
The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by Kristin Stammer, Andrew Rich and John Natal, and supported by Melissa Sanghera and Isabel Grelak.
Kristin Stammer said, ‘We are delighted to have acted for BMG on its first Australian corporate acquisition. Alberts is one of the world’s leading independent music publishers and has a rich history in Australian music. Its acquisition by BMG promises to create a dynamic leader in the Australian music industry. Our team very much enjoyed working with the BMG team to finalise the documents in a short timeframe. The firm has a long history acting for BMG’s affiliates on their significant Australian corporate transactions – we are very pleased to have had the opportunity to continue this association.’
While the transaction will result in most of Alberts’ music publishing and recordings catalogue transferring to BMG, the Albert family will retain its interests in the AC/DC and Vanda, Young & Wright catalogues. BMG will administer the corresponding publishing catalogues globally on behalf of the family. The transaction, and in particular the arrangements to exclude these legacy assets, involved close collaboration between Herbert Smith Freehills’ intellectual property and corporate specialists, and required a detailed understanding of Alberts’ extensive publishing and masters assets.