June 26, 2019 / 2:58 PM

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Independent Publisher Imagem off Auction Block as Talks with BMG Reportedly Fall Through


One of the world's largest independent music publishers has come off the auction block after the owners of Imagem couldn't find a satisfactory bid for the company. Rumors have it that BMG was the highest bidder but conflicting sources suggest that a deal couldn't be made for any part of Imagem's catalogue. 

Imagem has built up rapidly since being founded during 2007: The company bought up the catalogs of the BBC, Rondor, Zomba, 19 Music and Rodgers & Hammerstein...altogether those holdings are valued at around $640 million. Even more interesting to potential buyers are the individual pop signings that Imagem made, including Phill Collins' holdings in the Genesis catalogue. British producer Mark Ronson, currently responsible for hit single "Uptown Funk," is also published by Imagem. 

The publisher was reportedly looking to get $810 million for the whole package, according to Billboard. That sum seems to have proved too high for any serious buyers so the company attempted to sell off just its pop music holdings. That idea supposedly drew attention from BMG, who was reported to be eyeing a $175 million deal for that collection. That's a heck of a lot of money for a catalogue believed to have only a $14.3 million gross profit, and another source told Billboard that BMG never would have paid that much. 

Either away, talks broke off around Thanksgiving and Imagem is already looking to place a positive spin on the situation. 

"We are looking forward to this exciting new chapter in the Imagem story and expanding our position as the world's number one independent music publisher," said CEO André de Raaff. Auction? What auction? 

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