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Primary Wave announces new investor and distribution deal

By | Published on Monday 14 June 2021

Primary Wave

Primary Wave Music last week announced new investment from Oaktree Capital and a new worldwide distribution deal with Universal’s Virgin Music label services business.

The latter deal with Virgin Music will see the Universal division providing physical and digital distribution services to the recorded music side of the Primary Wave group, which will include releases from Sun Records, which it acquired earlier this year, and The Gaither Group of labels, with which Primary Wave has a strategic partnership.

Gaither Music will also maintain its long-standing relationship with the Capitol Christian Music Group which, like Virgin Music itself, sits within Universal’s Capitol Music Group in the US.

Confirming the deal from the Virgin side, the division’s President and GM – Jacqueline Saturn and Matt Sawin respectively – said in a joint statement: “We are so excited to begin this relationship with Primary Wave Music and The Gaither Group as their new distribution partner. Both companies are so forward thinking and always looking to create new opportunities to build awareness and audiences for their artists and music. Their approach perfectly aligns with ours, and we look forward to many years of success together”.

The Oaktree cash-injection is worth $375 million and gives the investment firm a minority interest in the music group. Confirming that deal, Primary Wave boss Larry Mestel said: “The Primary Wave team is honoured to have such a respected financial institution and the talented team supporting our efforts. Bruce Karsh and I have had a working relationship for over fifteen years and he has the unusual combination of business savvy and creative sensibility towards music. This is an exciting new chapter for the entire company as we continue to grow and evolve our business”.

The there mentioned Karsh at Oaktree added: “I’ve long admired the business model and success that Larry has built for Primary Wave and saw this partnership as a unique opportunity to diversify our investment portfolio in a growing and uncorrelated asset class. As a true music lover myself, I’m dedicated to the company‚Äôs growth and future success”.