Universal Music Group announces a minority share investment of the [PIAS] Group.
One of the world’s leading independent music companies, [PIAS], has received a minority share investment from Universal Music Group, according to details first tipped to Digital Music News on Tuesday (November 29th). The announcement sees UMG acquiring a 49% shareholding in [PIAS] following the formation of the strategic global alliance between the two companies in June 2021.
[PIAS] will remain fully independent under the new agreement, and its founders, Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot (pictured above) will retain majority control of the company. UMG will have no seats on the company’s board.
“We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Universal Music Group team since we announced our strategic global alliance with them last year,” says Lambot.
“Kenny and I are celebrating our company’s 40th anniversary this year, and we are still as ambitious as we were when we started out about growing our global presence and providing a world-class service to the independent music community.”
“These days, we are competing with finance and tech giants, and a partner like Universal Music Group provides the additional support for us to compete and grow. Universal made it clear that they like us, they trust us, and they need us because they can’t do what we do, and they value it highly,” says Gates.
“For Michel and I, this is our life’s work and an ongoing journey, and I am excited about the prospect of this new chapter in the life of [PIAS]. This move makes us stronger and secures the future of our brand, our staff, and our partners while maintaining control of our destiny.”
“The boldly independent and music-centric culture that Kenny and Michel have built over the last four decades has provided a vital creative network to so many artists,” adds Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG.
“While much of the past was focused on ‘majors versus indies,’ it’s clear that today, the important divide in our industry is about those committed to artist development versus those committed to quantity over quality. We share Kenny and Michel’s passion for developing artists and moving culture, and we recognize that a healthy music ecosystem needs companies like [PIAS] who are committed to amplifying the best voices in independent music.”