BMG Continues Music Publishing Buying Spree With Bug Music

There seems to be no stopping the acquisition tear by Bertelsmann’s BMG Rights Management: It appears to have outbid American Idol creator Simon Fuller to buy Bug — the quirky independent music publishing company whose library includes “What a Wonderful World,” “Fever” and “Happy Together.” Although the companies didn’t disclose the sale price, Reuters said Bug was expected to fetch about $300M. BMG has a lot on its plate: It’s said to still be in the running to buy EMI, the recorded music and publishing powerhouse that Citigroup is auctioning. Early this year it bought publishing rights for Carly Simon and administration rights to Notable Music (which includes musicals such as Sweet Charity and pop hits such as “Sunny”). But with Bug, BMG may have to grapple with a new lawsuit in California Superior Court from singer-songwriter Bruno Mars. He says that his publishing contract with Bug expired early this year when the company faied to renew it before a contractually set deadline. Private equity firm Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts is a major investor in BMG. Here’s the release announcing the Bug deal: (more…)

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