Halebury lawyer advises Millicom on African music deal
Halebury commercial technology lawyer Ed Rea has advised Millicom, the international telecommunications and media company, on a joint venture set up to acquire, manage and distribute rights in African music.
This deal involved Millicom forming a partnership with one of Africa’s leading digital music companies, Africori, to acquire, manage and distribute music rights through “Africa Music Rights” (AMR) to which Millicom will contribute a significant majority of the initial investment.
AMR will serve the whole continent, where 70% of music consumed is locally produced, and will invest in rights directly from artists, writers, micro-labels and others. Key areas for growth include South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
As part of the transaction, Africori acquired Coolspot, one of South Africa’s leading independent music labels. It has a catalogue of over 11,000 songs spanning 25 years and includes more than 70 gold and platinum releases from high-profile South African legacy artists such as Oleseng and Sammy Malete.
Millicom’s CEO and President, Hans-Holger Albrecht, commented: “Africa’s digital music market is taking off fast with online and mobile penetration growing strongly. Millicom’s Tigo Music business gives us a first-mover advantage, reinforces our strategic shift from voice to data and extends the digital lifestyle. AMR complements this by exploiting the huge opportunity to serve the rising demand for digital music across the continent.”
Africori’s CEO, Yoel Kenan commented: “With the sheer wealth of music emerging from Africa, supported by the timely market growth of digital sales, right now Africa is undeniably the most exciting region for the music business globally. We’re excited to be partnering with Millicom, a company which shares our passion and vision for the region, as we continue to shape the music business in Africa.”
Halebury lawyer Ed Rea says: “This was an exciting deal which will make AMR a music powerhouse in rapidly growing markets. Halebury’s unique combination of corporate, technology, telecommunications and media expertise made it the ideal advisor in relation to this project.”
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