A new London-based buyer has entered the already crowded catalog acquisition market. Called Bella Figura Music, the company was founded by former BMG U.K. president, Alexi Cory-Smith, who will act as CEO, and former BMG global investments division leader, Neelesh Prabhu, who will act as head of investments.
According to the company’s announcement, Bella Figura Music is a “purpose-built, artist-centric music company, bringing together leading technology and a relentless focus on creative excellence.”
Over the last year, Bella Figura’s team has been quietly amassing a catalog of recording and publishing assets with financing aid from private equity fund Freshstream.
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So far, Bella Figura has acquired the publishing catalog of Guy Chambers, one of the songwriters behind Robbie Williams‘ “Angels,” “Feel” and “Let Me Entertain You,” as well as David Gray‘s record label IHT, which owns and controls all of the singer-songwriter’s albums, from 1998’s White Ladder to 2019’s Gold in a Brass Age.
According to the company’s announcement, Gray is “closely involved with Bella Figura Music,” acting as an “interested party” in the catalog’s business dealings. Gray’s management team at Mick Management will remain closely involved with the catalog, new products and new initiatives. “Dave remaining involved financially and with creative controls and input intact was a key feature of us wanting to do the deal,” says Cory-Smith. “This is the kind of deal we really like.”
Other acquisitions by Bella Figura include R3HAB‘s recorded music catalog up until 2022, including “All Around the World,” “Sad Boy,” “Runaway” and “Call Me”; AWAL’s divested portfolio of rights, including shares of recordings by Gray, Placebo, The Wombats and Dashboard Confessional; songwriter-producer Darrell Brown’s publishing shares in 25 of his songs, including songs performed by LeAnn Rimes and Keith Urban.
“I view David Gray and Guy Chambers as the founding blocks on which we build the business,” Cory-Smith says. “One is records, the other is publishing — both top quality catalogues. I am very proud of what we have achieved in Bella Figura Music’s first year of business.”
Cory-Smith adds, “I’ve always wanted to have my own music company and after years in corporates, the timing to take an entrepreneurial path felt right.”
“I’ve been looking for a new partner for my music for quite some time, so when I heard about Alexi and Bella Figura I thought it had the potential to be a good fit,” says Gray. “They struck me as a company with serious ambitions, an eye for detail and a point to prove, and the fact that I had a good relationship with Alexi from her time at Chrysalis/BMG was definitely a major positive too. The world of music and technology is in a state of constant flux and it’s vital to work with people who are not only attentive to its challenges but also alert to its opportunities. I feel very optimistic that with Bella Figura I’ve found just that.”
“I’m so pleased to be working with Bella Figura,” adds Chambers. “I think Alexi is one of the most dynamic executives working in the music industry. Having Alexi at the helm of Bella Figura is an exciting prospect for what is a new and vital area for songwriters in the industry today.”
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