BMG has acquired world music label, World Circuit Records, home to Buena Vista Social Club, Ali Farka Touré and Orchestra Baobab.
The cost of the deal, according to sources, was in the region of £10m ($13m).
UK-based World Circuit specializes in music from Cuba and West Africa.
The Grammy award-winning Buena Vista Social Club (BVSC) album, released in 1997, is the most successful world music LP of all time with sales in the multi-millions.
Other key recordings snapped up with World Circuit include Ali Farka Touré and Ry Cooder’s Grammy award-winning Talking Timbuktu (1994), the international debuts by Orchestra Baobab and Oumou Sangare and solo albums from BVSC members including Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez and Omara Portuondo.
World Circuit recently signed and successfully developed Malian musician Fatoumata Diawara and Congolese band Mbongwana Star.
Following the acquisition BMG will take over World Circuit‘s catalog of recordings and publishing copyrights. The label’s creative head Nick Gold will join BMG to help further develop the catalogue with new projects.
“World Circuit has been a pioneer in recording and marketing outstanding artists and collaborations from around the world.”
Peter Stack, BMG
World Circuit’s catalog includes artists from countries including Cuba, Colombia, Spain, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Senegal. It includes GRAMMY Award-winning albums from Toumani Diabate, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ali Farka Touré, and Buena Vista Social Club.
BMG EVP Global Catalogue Recordings Peter Stack said, “World Circuit has been a pioneer in recording and marketing outstanding artists and collaborations from around the world. We are absolutely delighted to welcome World Circuit to BMG and excited to be working with Nick Gold, one of the most inspirational figures in world music. We look forward to continuing and developing the work of this amazing label.”
Nick Gold said, “BMG’s respect for artists and writers, their vision of the future and the opportunities that lay ahead make it a natural and exciting home for World Circuit.
“Having been lucky enough to have worked with such amazing musicians and being a part of such timeless recordings, I’m now looking forward to the next chapter in the World Circuit story”.
In a statement to media, BMG said: ‘Plans are already well underway for a number of new releases and reissues, and the booming music streaming market is expected to extend the reach of World Circuit’s music even further.’Music Business Worldwide