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The Orchard considering merger with IODA

By | Published on Tuesday 6 March 2012

The Orchard

Following yesterday’s news that digital distributors INgrooves had acquired Universal’s US-based indie label distribution firm Fontana, today reports of another big development in the independent distribution space, with Billboard claiming that The Orchard and IODA are set to merge. And while Universal is a minority shareholder in INgrooves Fontana, Sony Music is set to own at least half of Orchard IODA.

Sony already owns half of the Independent Online Distribution Alliance and, according to reports, will exercise an option to buy the company outright before merging it with The Orchard. That would mean Sony would control at least 50% of the merged entity too.

The Orchard, which celebrates fifteen years in business this year, is currently owned by Dimensional Associates, the private equity arm of JDS Capital Management, which bought the distribution firm for a second time in 2009. Dimensional will remain a minority shareholder in the merged company, though Sony might have the option to buy it out down the line as well.

Both The Orchard and IODA offer digital distribution and marketing services, while the former also have sync and physical distribution units, meaning that – like INgrooves Fontana – both merged companies will offer stepped up one-stop-shop distribution and marketing services for indie labels and more established self-releasing artists.

Though The Orchard, IODA and Sony are yet to comment on this rumoured merger.