Australia: Norton Rose Fulbright successfully completes the sale of iconic music business Alberts
Last Updated: 3 October 2016

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised well-known music publishing and recording business Alberts on the sale of its music publishing business to German music company BMG.

The transaction signed in July and has now completed. One of the key closing conditions was agreeing the terms on which the Albert family would retain its stake in the back catalogues of AC/DC and The Easybeats songwriters Harry Vanda, George Young and Stevie Wright. BMG will administer these assets on behalf of Alberts.

An iconic name in the Australian music industry, Alberts launched the careers of AC/DC and The Easybeats, along with a host of other bands and songwriters. The 131-year-old business will become part of BMG Australia following the sale.

The transaction marks a major milestone in the music market for both Alberts and BMG.

Norton Rose Fulbright partner Ben Smits, who led the deal, commented:

"While in some respects the sale of Alberts represents the end of era, we were very pleased to have helped the Alberts secure a good result through this sale. BMG is now well placed to take the business forward in a rapidly changing digital world. The deal required us to assemble a multi-disciplinary team working to a tight timetable. One of the key challenges was extricating the AC/DC, Harry Vander, George Young and Stevie Wright catalogues in a seamless way."

Alberts CEO David Albert said in a statement:

"This was a difficult decision to make, but as music grapples with its digital future, with new distribution models and the influence of global technology companies, we believe BMG is in the best position to take the business forward. BMG has a global presence, an artist-friendly approach to business and a genuine desire to invest in and support the Australian music scene."

Ben Smits was assisted by Sydney partners Frances Drummond and Nick Abrahams, and associates Vianna Shing, Mitchell Kelly and Alyson Poole.

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