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Chrysalis Records becomes part of Reservoir

By | Published on Friday 30 August 2019


US-based music rights firm Reservoir is further expanding its interests in recorded music by acquiring the most recent incarnation of Chrysalis Records via an alliance with London-based Blue Raincoat Music.

With management and publishing units as well as the label, Blue Raincoat was co-founded in 2014 by record producer Robin Millar and music industry veteran Jeremy Lascelles. The latter had previously been CEO of the old Chrysalis music publishing firm and, in 2016, he was reconnected with that brand when his company bought the Chrysalis Records label and catalogue from Warner Music.

That catalogue had been on quite a journey before arriving at Blue Raincoat. The original indie label version of Chrysalis had become part of EMI in the early 1990s and was then run as a division of the British major well into the 2000s.

After EMI’s collapse in 2011, Universal acquired its recordings business, but was forced to sell off a chunk of its new acquisition’s European assets by the competition regulator. Which is how Warner ended up with Chrysalis. It then sold the label, and some other masters, to Blue Raincoat as part of a commitment it had made – when buying all those bits of EMI off Universal – to return some of those recordings to the indie sector.

Blue Raincoat then allied with Kobalt’s AWAL on distribution, for both that catalogue and the new releases the recordings side of its business was working on.

Confirming that a deal had now been done to bring Chrysalis Records into his company’s “portfolio of offerings”, Reservoir boss Golnar Khosrowshahi said yesterday that the move was part of his firm’s commitment to be “a full-service music company”. He added: “From the first meeting with Robin and Jeremy, it was evident that we had found the right partners to expand into the independent label business”.

Millar and Lascelles will continue to head up Chrysalis Records, as well as the Blue Raincoat management and publishing businesses which are not affected by this deal. AWAL will also still handle distribution.

Confirming the alliance from his side, Millar said: “The shared dedication to supporting independent music with a global reach made the joining up the businesses ideal, with like-minded individuals and two companies respectively looking to expand their platforms and service offerings”.

Reservoir’s COO Rell Lafargue said he was “THRILLED” about the tie-up with Chrysalis which, he added, would now benefit from its new parent company’s expertise in areas like sync and YouTube channel management.

Although, he also stressed, that knowledge exchange will cut both ways. “As we manage this integration process”, he said, “we will all look to take advantage of the diverse expertise that each company brings to the table to enhance value for all of our talent, songwriters and artists alike”.