ROBA Music Publishing Announces €10 Million+ Acquisition of German Publishing Group GERIG

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Hamburg, Germany. Photo Credit: Ansgar Scheffold

Hamburg’s ROBA Music Publishing and the AP Music Royalties Fund have announced their acquisition of GERIG, which execs say “consists of more than 20 owned and administered music publishers” as well as some 30,000 compositions and “thousands” of masters.

ROBA Music Publishing reached out to Digital Music News with word of the buyout today. Founded 53 years back, ROBA bills itself as “the best home for songwriters, repertoire owners and artists in the digital age,” with its website displaying publishing partners including Reservoir Media and Round Hill Music.

The AP Music Royalties Fund, for its part, appears to be based in Liechtenstein and, despite receiving only a mention in the formal release, presumably fronted a portion of the capital needed to complete the purchase, which ROBA told us cost between €10 million and €20 million.

In any event, GERIG was “for many decades” Germany’s leading publisher, according to the buyer, and “took over one of the two music publishers of the former GDR ‘Harth Musikverlag’” (literally “hard music publisher”) after the nation’s reunification.

Moreover, ROBA already possesses the other of these publishers, meaning that the acquisition “will bring almost 100% of all the music from this era to ROBA,” the business indicated. GERIG is also said to represent “the biggest hits from the Oktoberfest and most of the German carnival and party songs.”

These GERIG carnival and party songs include “Drink doch eine met,” “Mer Losse der Dom In Kölle,” “Johnny Däpp,” and “Heute fährt die 18 bis nach Istanbul,” ROBA disclosed, mentioning also “evergreen” works such as “Hey Baby,” “A Banda,” “Immer wieder Sonntags,” and “Pigalle,” to name just some.

Lastly, regarding the newly purchased company’s reach, German-speaking artists like Freddy Quinn (159,000 monthly listeners on Spotify), Peter Alexander (188,000 monthly Spotify listeners), Nina Hagen (261,000 monthly listeners), and Jürgen Drews (845,000 monthly listeners), among many others, have released renditions of GERIG tracks.

ROBA’s acquisition of GERIG arrives about one week after BMG announced plans to buy Telamo, a decade-old indie label.

BMG didn’t identify the transaction’s financial specifics, but did relay that the play marked its largest label acquisition since a 2017 deal for Nashville’s BBR Music Group. The Bertelsmann subsidiary touted Telamo’s particular presence in Schlager music, which is said to be more popular in Germany (by market share) than rock as well as dance.

And today, Berlin’s Federal Music Industry Association (BVMI) revealed that the German music industry had generated €967 million during the first half of 2022, representing a 5.5 percent year-over-year boost. Streaming accounted for nearly three-quarters of the total, the organization stated.