Penningtons Manches Cooper has advised New Era Music Company, a global record label and media company, on its completed acquisition of Defected Records Ltd and all of its group companies, through a new group holding company, Optimum Defected Holdings Limited.
Established in 1999, Defected houses a number of sub-labels including DFTD, Glitterbox Recordings, Classic Music Company, Soulfuric, 4 To The Floor and Sondela, as well as owning and managing over 30 catalogues of house imprints and artists.
Defected Records has seen its most successful year yet, with 2022 seeing 2.4 billion streams, over 600,000 tickets sold across more than 300 events, and the size of its online community surpassing 10 million. In addition, its publishing arm, Defected Music, has also celebrated significant success, with Elton John and Dua Lipa’s official UK chart number one ‘Cold Heart’, and tracks from Beyonce’s latest album ‘Renaissance’ (also reaching number one in the UK) credited to Defected Music publishers.
The deal, involving bank and equity funding, was for the purchase of seven UK companies and a Spanish subsidiary. Defected’s managing director, Wez Saunders, is set to take over as CEO from the founder Simon Dunmore, who will work alongside Wez in a new role as A&R consultant. This acquisition will bring significant ‘New Era’ benefits to Defected’s community of artists, producers and writers, signalling new industry standards in royalty and accounting systems.
Additionally, significant funds are being committed to Defected’s future development strategies, including the roll out of multiple planned growth initiatives and further acquisitions.
Wez Saunders commented: “Defected has always upheld house music’s standards globally by supporting innovative artists and by consistently servicing our community with quality recorded music, live events, digital marketing strategies and more. It is our intention – alongside partners, associates, talent and staff – to preserve the culture and values that built such a powerful community of artists and fans, while driving the business into a new era of investment, impact and expansion.”
He continued: “I’d like to thank Teja and the team at Penningtons Manches Cooper for their advice, expertise and effort, delivering the result we were looking for against a backdrop of tight deadlines.”
Simon Dunmore added: “These are exciting times and while I’ll continue to be part of Defected’s campaigns, I am delighted to be handing over the helm to Wez, who alongside our new partners will guide Defected into a new era.”
The Penningtons Manches Cooper team was led by corporate consultant and head of financial services regulation, Teja Picton-Howell, with support from corporate associates James Mann, Emily MacDonald and Sebastian Annable. The wider team included support from real estate partner Alex Prew, employment managing associate Hester Jewitt, employment associate Lauren Baker and private client associate Edward Harper-Masters. The seller, Simon Dunmore, was represented by Clintons.
Teja Picton-Howell commented: “We are delighted to have advised New Era Music on their acquisition of Defected Records. They are a great team with huge potential, vision and investment plans to develop house music into the future.”