ENTERTAINMENT ONE TO BUY UK’S AUDIO NETWORK IN $215M DEAL
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Entertainment One has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of UK-based Audio Network Limited (Audio Network) – a production music specialist and one of the world’s largest independent creators and publishers of original music for use in film, television, advertising and digital media.
The buyout is being valued at approximately US $215 million. The announcement was made today (April 11) by eOne’s President and CEO Darren Throop, with Global President, Music Chris Taylor, and alongside Audio Network’s Founder & Chairman Andrew Sunnucks and CEO Robb Smith.
Audio Network, with nine offices worldwide, boasts an expansive catalogue of over 150,000 fully-owned tracks, in addition to relationships with more than 1,000 composers, singer-songwriters and emerging commercial artists. Entertainment One says this talent will ‘benefit from [eOne’s] rich traditional record label services and extensive film, television and brand capabilities’.
It adds: ‘The addition of Audio Network further enriches eOne’s integrated partner offering and full-scope capabilities, generating more monetization opportunities for eOne commercial artists through relationship-based sync placements.’
Darren Throop said: “As we continue to unlock the power and value of creativity for artists, we are very pleased to welcome Audio Network, whose passionate management team and ambition align entirely with ours. The combination of eOne’s front-end commercial artist catalogue and Audio Network’s extensive premium production music creates a one-stop solution for business customers seeking high-quality music.”
“EONE’S CAPABILITIES ACROSS MUSIC WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY BOLSTERED BY AUDIO NETWORK’S IMPRESSIVE SCALE AND ROSTER OF ARTISTS, COMPOSERS AND CATALOGUE. WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO WORKING ALONGSIDE THEM THROUGH THEIR NEXT PHASE OF GROWTH.” - CHRIS TAYLOR, EONE
Said Taylor: “Andrew, Robb and their brilliant team with decades of industry experience have built an unparalleled global sync company and eOne’s capabilities across Music will be significantly bolstered by Audio Network’s impressive scale and roster of artists, composers and catalogue. We are looking forward to working alongside them through their next phase of growth.”
Founded in 2001 by Robert Hurst and Andrew Sunnucks, Audio Network boasts its own proprietary technology. Its music is featured in high-end television and advertising productions through to user-generated content on digital and social platforms, with customers spanning across TV broadcast, advertising, digital media and enterprise industries.
“Our relationships with artists and composers have been at the heart of our business from the very start. In joining eOne, we are becoming part of an incredible global entertainment family and will have the continued opportunity to create and record the world’s best music and share it globally,” said Sunnucks.
“EONE IS AN IDEAL PARTNER FOR OUR TEAMS AROUND THE WORLD. THIS IS GOING TO BE GAME-CHANGING.” - ROBB SMITH, AUDIO NETWORK
Added CEO Robb Smith: “Their platform-agnostic content strategy, combined with an alignment of culture, values and vision for the future of the business, make eOne an ideal partner for our teams around the world. This is going to be game-changing.”
As Audio Network becomes part of eOne’s group of Music and Live companies under the leadership of Taylor, the company will continue to operate with its current team and brand. Following the transaction, Sunnucks will continue to play a significant role at Audio Network, in the capacity of Chairman, and the existing executive management team under Smith will remain in place.
A team led by Rebecca Bothamley and Robert Hamill at Mayer Brown LLP with support from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP provided legal counsel on the transaction for eOne.
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. provided financing for the transaction and Milbank LLP advised eOne on the financing. Audio Network Limited was advised by Jefferies International Limited on the transaction with Taylor Wessing LLP providing legal counsel.
Music Business Worldwide