Kobalt Acquires Fintage House Music Division, Reaching More Creators with Best-in Class Collections & Payments Technology

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 – Kobalt, the leading independent music services company, today announced the acquisition of Fintage House’s Neighbouring Rights and Publishing businesses. The deal brokered by Shot Tower Capital, will see the transitioning of services taking place over the coming months, and soon all Fintage House Neighbouring Rights and Publishing clients will be part of the Kobalt family.

The deal matches Kobalt’s ongoing commitment to more efficiency and transparency in the industry with Fintage House’s renowned business ethic in enriching basic collection models with high-end service, innovation and operational excellence. The breadth of music experience and extensive collection infrastructure will bolster Kobalt’s reach globally for clients and set a new industry standard for Neighbouring Rights collections and payments.

Willard Ahdritz, Kobalt founder and CEO commented, “We’re incredibly excited to work with the roster of creators that Fintage represents. This deal strengthens our ability to collect more income for more creators from more places around the world. With a larger roster, we’re also excited to put more technology investment into Neighbouring Rights global collections.”

Niels Teves, Co-CEO for Fintage House said, “For 30 years we have been creating leading services engineered by experience and as such provided a platform where transparency can thrive. I really believe we can achieve more for the music industry and its clients by merging our forces and values, than we could apart. I have a lot of respect for the technologic advances that Kobalt has built and for the portfolio that it currently represents. Together, this business deal will continue to help the music business grow up and service clients better’.

Neighbouring Rights, a form of income for artists derived from recordings being broadcast, played in public or streamed on a non-interactive basis, are a crucial component in today’s music ecosystem. Kobalt’s Neighbouring Rights business has grown rapidly, with 127% year over year growth reported last May. Fintage catapulted to market leadership in this space partly due to a strategic business investment with Rights Agency Ltd. (RAL) in 2012, which provided global scope and advanced infrastructure. Fintage House and RAL have been responsible for collecting substantial revenues for Music, TV and Film clients worldwide for 30 years -- experience that, combined with Kobalt, will be unprecedented.

Ann Tausis, MD of Kobalt Neighbouring Rights at Kobalt, added, “With a combined Fintage and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights business, our clients will have access to a team of people with more experience than anyone else in the industry, together with an incredible suite of products built for them, including our newly launched Neighbouring Rights app. We are very keen to continue to build on what we have created in Kobalt in a relatively short space of time and take this increasingly important revenue stream to new levels. There has never been a better time for music creators to be with Kobalt, and we’re committed to continuing to raise the bar and create positive changes for them in this field.”

Andrew Gummer, President of the Music Division, Fintage House: ‘In my view the music industry still has a long way to go to best serve the interests of recording artists and composers. The innovative and service orientated approach adopted by Fintage House combined with Kobalt’s long-term commitment to transparency and empowerment has convinced us that the combined forces of the two companies will provide by far the best and most influential service available in the neighboring rights and music publishing sectors.

Robbert Aarts, Co-CEO Fintage House added: “We began our rights journey in the film and TV business three decades ago. We are very proud that we were able to successfully bring our values and expertise to the music industry as well as nurturing strategic partnerships in the digital arena. We will focus even more now on our film and TV business lines alongside exploring additional avenues.”

The deal was brokered by Shot Tower Capital.

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