Jul 18, 2023 2 min read

Absolute reacquired by original management team after Utopia adventure

Absolute reacquired by original management team after Utopia adventure

Absolute Label Services is the latest Utopia acquisition to negotiate itself out of that particular confusing adventure. The company’s original shareholders have reacquired 100% of the business.

Utopia, of course, expanded rapidly through a series of acquisitions. That included three deals in close succession in early 2022 involving some key UK-based independent music businesses: Proper MusicSentric Music and Absolute Label Services.

However, later in 2022 the acquisition spree came to a halt and then the downsizing began within the core Utopia business, which was building a music monitoring and data management platform.

In February this year, Utopia announced that it was selling one of its earlier purchases – music industry directory and data platform ROSTR – back to its founders. Then in March, it was confirmed Believe was buying Sentric Music.

Yesterday it was revealed that “Absolute’s original shareholders – Henry Semmence, Simon Wills, Debs Cutting and Mark Dowling – have taken the decision to reacquire 100% of the company from Utopia Music”.

The label services business also confirmed that it “maintained its original, long-standing team, leading infrastructure and diverse client base” during its stint as a Utopia subsidiary, and that during that time it has enjoyed “significant growth, with revenues up 25% year-on-year across the business – including both its label services and neighbouring rights operations”.

Semmence, Wills, Cutting and Dowling said in a joint statement: “Absolute’s management team is excited to announce our decision to move forward independently. The decision to revert the full ownership of the company, and to preserve its vision and direction, was fuelled by our unwavering commitment to continue providing exceptional label services”.

“Our primary focus for the last 28 years has been delivering success and growth for our artists and labels”, they went on. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with all of them, and providing the dedicated support, resources, and innovative solutions they deserve”.

“We are committed to exploring new collaborations, forging strategic partnerships, and harnessing cutting-edge technologies to elevate our label services to even greater commercial growth and success. Our dedication to investment and expansion remains resolute. Our incredible staff, brimming with talent and expertise, will remain at the core of our success, and we will continue to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to drive unparalleled results for our artists and labels”.

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