Chrysalis prepares for a sale to satisfy shareholders

Mon, 01 Nov 2010

Independent music firm Chrysalis faces a sale or merger, after shareholders expressed their frustration at the company’s low share rating and aim to expand the business. Shares currently value Chrysalis at £80.57 million.

Any deal could lead to the retirement of co-founder and chairman Chris Wright, who set up the company 43 years ago with his former business partner Terry Ellis. He owns a 29 per cent holding in the group, while other shareholders include North Atlantic Value, Schroders and Guinness Peat.

While the identities of several parties said to have expresses interest the company have not been revealed by Chrysalis, it is believed music publisher Bug Music and Imagem Music could be among them.

A sale was in the pipeline three years ago but the plan was shelved with the onset of the credit crunch. Other parts of its business had already been disposed of - its record label was sold to EMI in 1991, followed by the 2007 sale of its radio division, which included Heart and Galaxy to Global Radio in a £170 million deal, with the intention of focusing on its publishing. It also specialises in entertainment product distribution and artist management.

The group owns a catalogue of 70,000 music copyrights from long running artists and new performers. It also owns songs by artists such as Michael Jackson and David Bowie.

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