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Chrysalis and BMG chiefs discuss their merger

By | Published on Monday 29 November 2010

Chrysalis founder Chris Wright and BMG chief Hartwig Masuch have been taking to Billboard about the latter’s acquisition of the former’s publishing company. As previously reported, Chrysalis confirmed it had been bought by the always acquisitive BMG Rights Management on Friday, less than a month after admitting it was accepting takeover offers once more.

Masuch was a little vague as to his plans for exactly how Chrysalis will merge with the existing BMG company, though he indicated the Chrysalis name will continue to be used beyond the three years dictated by the takeover deal, observing that the name is “very important because it is the entrepreneurial music brand in the US and the UK, no doubt about it”.

He also admitted there was a chance the existing BMG UK team could make Chrysalis’s West London HQ their home moving forward. As to whether the merger would result in any cutbacks at Chrysalis, Masuch was again a little vague, though he insisted that BMG was a growing company – now the biggest independent music publisher ready to take on the majors – and that he saw the Chrysalis management team as playing a crucial roll in that growth.

Asked what it meant for Chrysalis-signed songwriters, Wright said he’d been asked that very question by his staff earlier that day. He said he’d told his company’s A&Rs to tell the songwriters they work with that “the company is not for sale any more, because one of the problems we’ve had since we were in the last sales process two and a half years ago is that when you’re signing a major writer or major artist, the opposition can always say ‘oh I wouldn’t sign with Chrysalis because the company’s for sale'”.

He continued: “So I think from the standpoint of the talent, I think it’s a fantastic situation because they are now part of an extremely well financed group that’s going to have much more resource with an even greater international infrastructure to be able to do an even better job for them, and know the company is not going to be sold”.

From a cultural point of view, Masuch says he thinks BMG and Chrysalis should integrate smoothly. He said: “When we decided to relaunch the [BMG publishing] business we wanted to come back with a different philosophy in relationships with the creative community, and in that respect Chrysalis is a benchmark of the last 40 years with a consistent approach to fair relationships, respect to the creative community”.

You can read the full interview here.