UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP ACQUIRES KEY BELGIAN INDEPENDENT; PATRICK BUSSCHOTS APPOINTED MD, UNIVERSAL MUSIC BELGIUM
London/Brussels, September 24, 2007 – After more than 31 years of independence, Belgian record company ARS Entertainment is becoming part of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company.
The acquisition was concluded by Patrick Busschots, ARS Entertainment founder and Managing Director, and Vico Antippas, Senior Vice President, Universal Music Group International (UMGI), and President, Nordic, Central & Eastern Europe, UMGI. Terms were not disclosed.
Vico Antippas said, “Universal Music is always striving to push boundaries and expand the scope of our activities. The future of our business lies in an entrepreneurial, hit-driven approach, and we believe that this new partnership with ARS Entertainment fits perfectly into that strategy. We are very excited to be working with Patrick.”
For Patrick Busschots, the agreement marks an important step forward. He said, “It was an emotional decision for me, since I built up ARS with the sweat of my brow. But I am convinced that with Universal Music, we can begin a successful new chapter in our story.”
Patrick Busschots opened the ARS record shop in Antwerp in 1976. The business was a success, expanding into a record label. In 1989, ARS Productions went global, due to the success of Technotronic (“Pump Up The Jam”). Over the years, the record company broadened into ARS Entertainment, focusing on the local market with artists like M-Kids, Laura Lynn, ReBorn, Nailpin, and many more. ARS Entertainment also built up a DVD and book business. The Kontich-based company employs 15 people, and has annual turnover of €10 million.
Effective October 1, Patrick Busschots is appointed Managing Director of Universal Music Belgium. He succeeds Dirk de Clippeleir, who left the company earlier this month.
Busschots added, “I am facing an exciting challenge. Anyone who thinks that with this deal, I am going to take things easy does not know me at all. I have given a commitment to Universal Music that I will run their Belgian company with the same dedication and drive I brought to ARS. Universal Music and ARS are two strong teams, and the creation of synergies will be really exciting. Of course, I am really looking forward to working with fantastic artists like U2, 50 Cent and Nelly Furtado, and introducing new artists like Kate Nash.”
Busschots also noted that ARS will continue to exist as a label for Belgian artists within Universal Music.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry’s largest global music publishing operation.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Label Group, Deutsche Gramophone, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, Universal South Records and Verve Music Group, as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division, and Universal Music Mobile.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.