LONDON, 28 MARCH 2002 — Universal Music International (UMI) is to sell its Blackburn CD manufacturing business to Disctronics (UK) Ltd, one of the largest independent CD and DVD replicators in Europe. The sale is scheduled to take place on 1st May 2002, subject to certain conditions including an employee consultation process.

The deal will also see Universal Music enter into a long-term supply agreement with Disctronics for CD’s.

Cor van Dijk, Senior VP, Manufacturing & Logistics at UMI commented on the sale: “CD technology is very well-established and stable, and supply can be safely entrusted to third-party suppliers. Coupled with the world-wide availability of CD manufacturing capacity and the considerable investment required to keep pace with new physical formats like SACD and DVD, Universal Music has elected to reduce its European CD manufacturing capacity with the sale of UMI’s Blackburn plant to Disctronics.

“We are pleased, however, that Universal Music CD’s will continue to be manufactured by the Blackburn plant. It has always given an excellent service to its customers and I am confident it will continue to do so. I also look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Disctronics in the coming years.”

David Mackie, Group CEO, Disctronics commented: “We are very excited by this opportunity to expand the Disctronics group with the acquisition of Universal’s Blackburn optical disc manufacturing business. The Blackburn plant has an excellent reputation in the industry; it is our intention to increase CD and DVD capacity to meet the demands of an expanding European market. Disctronics’ key strength is customer service, which we will provide to Universal Music International and all our existing customers.”

Universal Manufacturing & Logistics Ltd (UML), the manufacturing arm of Universal Music, is responsible for the Blackburn plant, providing mastering, replication, and packaging services for all formats of compact discs. In addition to Universal’s own music labels, UML’s customers include a wide range of third-party music, video and information publishers.

The Blackburn plant is one of the most modern disc replication facilities in Europe. Blackburn is one of two European manufacturing plants owned and operated by Universal Music International.

UML’s Blackburn plant was established in 1980 by Philips Electronics, initially to manufacture LaserDisc and subsequently compact discs. In 2001, UML Blackburn produced more than 105 million CD’s for Universal Music and its third party customers.

Universal Music International

Universal Music International is a division of Universal Music Group; the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal 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 catalogue of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.).

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.


Disctronics is one of the largest independent CD and DVD disc manufacturers, with plants in Europe and the USA offering a total capacity of 1 million CD and 100 thousand DVD discs every day, seven days a week. The company has replication plants in the UK, France, Italy and Texas, plus sales offices in Paris and Los Angeles as well as a rapidly growing fulfilment division in the UK. Disctronics offers CD & DVD premastering, mastering, copy protection, on-line order tracking, replication, fulfilment, CD cards, custom CDs and e-commerce services for the music, software and home video industries. Disctronics is ISO 9002 registered, accredited by IRMA and FACT and is a founder member of IODRA.

Disctronics thrives on offering the best service to our customers. In addition to its disc replication and fulfilment services, Disctronics also provides information and advice to its customers where and when they need it. This is particularly important for new technologies such as DVD where even the most experienced are still learning.