Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

Universal acquires Stiff Records and ZTT

By | Published on Tuesday 19 December 2017

Universal Music

Universal Music has managed to squeeze in one more acquisition before the end of the year, taking ownership of the Stiff Records and ZTT labels and the Perfect Songs music publishing outfit. The acquisitions come via a deal with the SPZ Group, the independent music company co-founded by record producer Trevor Horn and his late wife Jill Sinclair.

Under the deal, Universal acquires the two labels, the entire ZTT back catalogue and select Stiff Records releases. Meanwhile Perfect Songs Publishing and its songs catalogue will become part of the Universal Music Publishing Group. Artists whose recordings and/or songs are part of the deal include Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Kirsty MacColl, Shane MacGowan, Art Of Noise and Lisa Stansfield.

Confirming the deal, Horn said: “Jill started Perfect Songs and ZTT in the 80s and I’m extremely proud of what she achieved. Lucian Grange and Jill were really good friends so I’m pleased that these catalogues are going to Universal. I’d like to thank all the writers and the artists on ZTT, Perfect and Stiff. It was a great experience and I enjoyed working with each one of you (most of the time)”.

For his part, Universal top man Lucian Grainge added: “Stiff and ZTT are truly unique and iconic labels that captured the zeitgeist of their generation and experienced great commercial success, whilst influencing contemporary music entirely on their own terms. With Perfect Songs, we are adding an award-winning publishing catalogue, rich with hits, acclaim and global success. UMG is committed to building upon the legacy of these revolutionary labels, in keeping with the spirit of their founders”.