Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

BMG buys Australian independent that launched the career of AC/DC

By | Published on Tuesday 5 July 2016


Here it is everybody, BMG acquisition of the day: the German music rights firm has bought the Australian music publisher and record company J Albert & Son Pty Ltd, better known to the world as Alberts, and perhaps best known outside its home country as the label that launched the career of AC/DC.

Set up as a clock and violin repair shop in Sydney by Jacques Albert 131 years ago, the Albert family business diversified into selling musical instruments, then started buying up song copyrights and became a fully fledged music publisher. The label was added in the 1960s. The company continued to be run by Jacques Albert’s descendents throughout.

One of them, current Alberts CEO David Albert, said yesterday of the decision to finally sell the business to a bigger concern: “This was a difficult decision to make, but as music grapples with its digital future, with new distribution models and the influence of global technology companies, we believe BMG is in the best position to take the business forward. BMG has a global presence, an artist-friendly approach to business and a genuine desire to invest in and support the Australian music scene”.

Alberts will now become part of the recently launched BMG Australia, which will take on a number of the indie label’s staffers, who will work under existing MD Heath Johns. He said of the deal: “No company has left a mark on Australian music like Alberts. It is an honour for BMG Australia to protect this profound legacy and also work with its exciting contemporary roster to further build their careers at home and abroad. This is a big vote of confidence in Australian talent and a recognition of Australia’s status as the biggest international exporter of recording talent after the US and UK”.

While BMG top man Hartwig Masuch added: “This is an incredible opportunity to create a new leader in Australian music, combining Alberts’ strengths with BMG’s 21st century approach to the music business. As of today, Australian artists and songwriters wishing to tap into the world market have a genuine alternative to the established majors. BMG is very serious about the Australian market and this deal is an indication of our commitment”.