Reservoir, PopArabia Target Egypt Expansion With RE Media and El Sawareekh Catalog Deals

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Cairo, Egypt. Photo Credit: Jack Krier

Reservoir (NASDAQ: RSVR) and MENA publisher PopArabia have moved to bolster their presence in Egypt with the acquisition of a portion of Cairo-based RE Media’s catalog as well as the music IP of rap duo El Sawareekh.

New York City-headquartered Reservoir and Abu Dhabi-headquartered PopArabia unveiled their newest joint investments today, having initially partnered to spearhead buyouts in early 2020. Against the backdrop of rapid music industry growth throughout MENA, 2022 saw the companies ink a deal with Arab star Mohamed Ramadan and scoop up Lebanon’s Voice of Beirut.

Also worth noting of the inherently multifaceted landscape behind MENA’s industry expansion is that Golnar Khosrowshahi-led Reservoir and PopArabia in February sued Middle Eastern streaming service Anghami for alleged copyright infringement. Saudi media company SRMG, a backer of Billboard’s parent, only recently invested $5 million in Anghami.

Moving beyond these pertinent background details and returning to the Reservoir-PopArabia deals, 19-year-old RE Media is said to possess a catalog of “over 6,000 recordings and compositions,” including releases from prominent acts such as George Wassouf, Amr Diab, Mohamed Mounir, and Dalida.

RE Media likewise operates divisions called Moseeqa and Moseeqa TV, and PopArabia is preparing to convert the business’s YouTube channels “to its own YouTube hub.” In a statement, RE Media founder Richard Elhaj elaborated that today’s agreement extends to “some” of his company’s works.

“I am very proud to have struck an arrangement with PopArabia for the acquisition of some of our catalog, and I foresee a long-term relationship with them and with Reservoir,” said the former Pyramedia chairman Elhaj. “I am also excited about the governance PopArabia is bringing to the Middle East, maximizing the economic potential of music assets and creating a lawful ecosystem to build on for the future.”

Shifting to the pact with the much-streamed El Sawareekh, consisting of Dokdok (real name Ahmed Abdelhamed) and Fanky (real name Bassem Mohamed), Reservoir and PopArabia didn’t disclose the precise size of the transaction, which covers recordings and publishing alike. However, the purchasing entities already owned a portion of the duo’s song rights in connection with their 2022 buyout of Egyptian label 100COPIES.

“We are excited to continue our relationship with Reservoir and PopArabia,” said El Sawareekh. “We look forward to the companies’ support as we continue to show the world what we can do.”

At the time of this writing, Reservoir Media stock (NASDAQ: RSVR), at $5.41 per share, was up slightly from Tuesday’s close. Meanwhile, Anghami stock (NASDAQ: ANGH) was down about seven percent across the same window, for a per-share price of $1.02.