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The Deals: Multimedia Music Acquires Christopher Lennertz Catalog; MQA Finds a Buyer

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Multimedia Music has acquired the entire film and TV music catalog of composer Christopher Lennertz, known for his work on films including Horrible Bosses, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Sausage Party, Bad Moms and Baywatch and TV shows including The Boys, Lost in Space and Supernatural.

Lennertz is a multiple Emmy nominee and 20-time BMI Awards honoree who was recently named a BMI Icon at the organization’s 2023 Film, TV & Visual Media Awards in May.

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“We are huge fans of Chris Lennertz’s work, he has created fantastic scores for so many successful films and TV series,” said Multimedia Music partner James Gibb in a statement. “We’re delighted to add his body of work to our catalog of wonderful film music by some of the best composers in the business.”

“When looking for the ideal place to entrust Christopher’s catalogue, we turned to Multimedia Music based on their great reputation and their great people,” added Lennertz’s agent, Richard Kraft of Kraft-Engel Management.

The deal is just the latest for Multimedia Music, led by Gibb and Phil Hope, which claims it’s spent a total of $150 million on acquisitions since it launched in late 2021. Previous deals include purchasing a 50% stake in a catalog of music publishing and master rights from the film music library of Amblin partners; the STX music library of master and publishing rights; the catalog of composer James Newton Howard; and the master and publishing rights to a 48-title film score catalog from Atlantic Screen Music.

Canada-based audio group Lenbrook acquired the assets of U.K. music technology company MQA nearly six months after MQA lost its founding financial backer and filed for administration. The purchase adds several patents as well as two audio codecs — MQA and SCL6 — to Lenbrook’s intellectual property portfolio. “We view this acquisition as an opportunity to ensure the technologies developed by the scientists and engineers at MQA continue to serve the industry’s interests rather than be confined to any single brand or company,” said Lenbrook CEO Gordon Simmonds in a statement. Lenbrook has retained a core group of MQA engineers and developers as well as sales and marketing staff including Andy Dowell, formerly the head of licensing at MQA, who will continue leading business development activities. A press release states that “MQA had amassed over 120 licensees [including Lenbrook] and several content partnerships, so Lenbrook’s primary objective in this acquisition was to provide certainty for business and technical developments that were underway prior to MQA’s administration.”

Universal Music Middle East & North Africa (MENA) partnered with Cairo-based Harb Talent Management on a deal that will see the two companies work together on talent discovery, development, music production, marketing and promo, live events and brand partnerships in Egypt. Under the agreement, Universal Music MENA announced three signings to its roster: Egyptian hip-hop artists Ahmed Santa, Slyver and Abu El Anwar. All three are expected to release music later this year and next.

Vassal Benford, CEO/chairman of the B.B. King estate, the B.B. King music company and the family trust, announced the launch of the B.B. King Life Legacy Initiative, which will encompass several new partnerships, retail products and brand concepts. The first project announced is a partnership with Heritage Distilling for an exclusive line of King-branded spirits. Also forthcoming are a new music project that will feature artists including Quavo, Jason Derulo and Swae Lee; a King theatrical biopic; a King documentary featuring a new single from Quavo; and a 24-hour B.B. King blues network.

Create Music Group struck a partnership with Black Lion, a music technology company behind a valuation engine that analyzes the performance and value of song catalogs to reduce the amount of time music companies spend evaluating potential acquisitions and signings. “This strategic partnership will significantly expand our ability to identify, research and make deals with rights holders all around the world,” said Create Music Group co-founder/chief business operator Wayne Hampton in a statement. “Black Lion’s cutting-edge technology will streamline our deal making process and enable us to generate increased revenue for Create and for all of our partners.”

India-based record label Saregama India acquired a 51.8% stake in youth-focused Indian digital content creator and publisher Pocket Aces, “with a clear path” to acquire an additional 41% in the next 15 months, according to a press release. “This acquisition will further strengthen Saregama’s strategic ambition to take [a] leadership position in New Music across all Indian languages,” the release continues. Pocket Aces boasts an intellectual property catalog of more than 3,000 pieces of content including web series and music videos on its channels — FilterCopy, Nutshell and Gobble — as well as a talent management arm with a roster of more than 100 digital influencers and a long-form studio called Dice Media. The release claims Pocket Aces has more than 95 million followers, “which Saregama will leverage to further popularize its music library among the 18-35 audience segment. It will also create synergies across the artiste & influencer management and long-format video creation businesses of the two companies.”

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