Concord buys Native Tongue in eight-figure acquisition, expands in Australia and New Zealand

Remember when it seemed the entire music industry was whispering about whether Concord would sell up to a major music company?

The truth about that narrative squeaked out back in April when we learned that, yes, Concord had explored the possibility of a sale – but, no, it wasn’t willing to do a deal for less than an “extraordinary-plus” price. Namely: at least USD $6 trillion.

(Bloomberg accurately reported in April that Concord and its majority parent – ​​pension fund Michigan Retirement Systems – had rejected two separate acquisition bids worth $4.5 billion and $5 billion, respectively.)

That all left Concord closing the chapter on its consideration of a potential sale ($5 billion was evidently not deemed “extraordinary-plus”!), and facing the future as a well-funded independent.

Yet having gained a reputation for being an aggressive music rights acquirer itself – and having spent a whopping USD $400 million buying Downtown’s portfolio of copyrights last year – would Concord quickly snap back into M&A mode, or go quiet?

Today (August 4), that question has been answered decisively, with the news that Concord is expanding in Australia & New Zealand via the acquisition of music publishing company Native Tongue – for a significant price tag.

Trusted sources close to the deal in Australia tell MBW that Concord spent an eight-figure US dollar sum on the acquisition, although they add that the final transaction price was significantly below the USD $50 million field. (Concord declined to comment on these figures when contacted by MBW earlier today.)

Concord, then, is officially back in business as an acquisitive music company – and expanding globally.

Consequent to the Native Tongue acquisition, Concord is launching Concord Music Publishing ANZ, which will be based in Melbourne, with staff in Sydney and Auckland.

Native Tongue was founded in 2003 by Chris Gough. Since his semi-retirement in 2014, the company has been led by siblings Jaime and Chelsea Gough.

Concord Music Publishing ANZ will now be led by Jaime Gough, Managing Director, and Chelsea Gough, SVP, along with their executive team including David Nash, VP Publishing and Matt Tanner, VP A&R.

The Native Tongue roster includes writers such as Courtney Barnett, Stuart Crichton (Backstreet Boys, Kesha, Kygo), Sophie Curtis (Cosmos Midnight, Jessica Mauboy, aespa), Sir Dave Dobbyn, Jon Hume (Dean Lewis, Sofi Tukker), M- Phazes (Ruel, Remi Wolf), Don McGlashan, Ciara Muscat (NiziU, TWICE), Steve Rusch (Clinton Kane), Tim Tan (Enhypen, Seventeen), Gin Wigmore and Marlon Williams.

“This is the next step, providing our home-grown writers with a truly international organization capable of maximizing their potential worldwide.”

Chris Gough, Native Tongue

“Jaime and Chelsea along with our wonderful team of people have grown the company significantly in recent years,” said Native Tongue founder Chris Gough.

“This is the next step, providing our home-grown writers with a truly international organization capable of maximizing their potential worldwide.”

“Australia and New Zealand are important music markets in their own right and this is a region that we have wanted to invest in for many years.”

John Minch, Concord

John Minch, Concord’s President of International Publishing, said: “Australia and New Zealand are important music markets in their own right and this is a region that we have wanted to invest in for many years.

“This will be an important strategic move for Concord in coordinating our Asia publishing initiatives, which Jaime will handle. Above all, this acquisition is about the Native Tongue team, who we know well and believe will really enjoy being part of Concord.”

“This is the start of a new chapter for us.”

Jaime Gough, Concord Music Publishing ANZ

Jaime Gough, Managing Director of Concord Music Publishing ANZ, said: “This is the start of a new chapter for us.

“Our team has worked hard to provide the best publishing service in the region, so to combine this with the support of an independent global music powerhouse will enable us to provide a superior international service for our local songwriters and artists.

“To be able to take this next step with friends that we have worked closely with for many years is exciting. We know Concord believes in the team we have here, and in the Australasian market. This will be fun!”

In addition to its successes in Australia and New Zealand, Native Tongue has worked on hits in Asia with songwriters on five Korean No.1-charting releases, and on two consecutive No.1 albums in Japan at the start of 2022.

Native Tongue is also the sub-publisher for many international catalogs and has represented Concord (and previously Boosey & Hawkes and Imagem) in Australia & New Zealand for more than 12 years.Music Business Worldwide

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