Monday, May 21, 2018

ole CEO Robert Ott sells stake in company to pension fund | Music Business Worldwide

The founder of CEO of independent rights company ole, Robert Ott, has sold his stake in the business to one of its key investors, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’).

The size of Ott’s stake and the amount paid for it by Ontario Teachers was not disclosed.

The news comes around six months after reports suggested that Toronto-HQ’d ole had twice failed to sell itself for $600m, as part of a re-capitalization process.

In September 2016, ole announced that it had raised $500m to spend in the M&A market, having already splashed over $520m on acquisitions since it was founded in 2004. To date, ole says it has ‘deployed more than $550m into intellectual property acquisitions’ – which suggests $30m was spent over the past year-and-a-half.

More than 200 people work at ole worldwide, and the company has Toronto, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles and London. Ott will continue as the firm’s CEO subsequent to his stake sale.

The ole catalog includes over 55,000 songs and 60,000 hours of TV and film music across all genres, while the firm controls songs recorded by artists such as: Beyoncé, Blake Shelton, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Michael Jackson, One Direction, Rihanna, Rush, Taylor Swift, and Timbaland.

“This transaction underscores Ontario Teachers’ commitment to ole and concludes the process that ole ran last year to optimize its capital structure.”

Robert Ott, ole (pictured)

Its substantial A/V music and secondary rights repertoire including catalogs from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Entertainment One, MGM, Miramax, Nelvana, and Nu Image/Millennium, as well as an extensive production music library of over 750,000 tracks.

“This transaction underscores Ontario Teachers’ commitment to ole and concludes the process that ole ran last year to optimize its capital structure,” said Robert Ott regarding his stake sale.

“I am very pleased to continue to work with Ontario Teachers’ and to lead ole into a new era from the foundation of the great success story we’ve built together over these many years. ole is well-capitalized and is extremely well-positioned to lead and benefit from the disruption and globalization that our Industry is experiencing.”

He added: “I am very excited about the new initiatives that we are working on and with this renewed commitment from Ontario Teachers’ and I look forward to an unprecedented era of growth.”

Ontario Teachers’ Senior Managing Director Ziad Hindo, Capital Markets, commented, “We look forward to the opportunity to further support the continued growth of an iconic, Canadian-based company with a proven track record like ole.”

 Music Business Worldwide


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