Absolute Label Services' leadership team has regained ownership of the company.
Absolute's original shareholders – Henry Semmence, Simon Wills (the company’s founders), Debs Cutting and Mark Dowling – have taken the decision to reacquire 100% of the company from Utopia Music.
Absolute reported revenues up 25% year-on-year across the business, including both its label services and neighbouring rights operations.
It has a number of projects lined up for the rest of the year and into 2024, including from Kula Shaker, Busted, James McVey (The Vamps), Kaiser Chiefs, Delta Goodrem and Tokio Myers, as well as emerging talents such as Barney Artist, Edbl, Eljé and Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn.
Absolute was acquired by Utopia in February 2022 but maintained its original, long-standing team, infrastructure and client base. The company has provided label services since 1998.
In a statement, Semmence, Wills, Cutting and Dowling said: “Absolute’s management team is excited to announce our decision to move forward independently. The decision to revert the full ownership of the company, and to preserve its vision and direction, was fuelled by our unwavering commitment to continue providing exceptional label services.
“Our primary focus for the last 28 years has been delivering success and growth for our artists and labels. We look forward to continuing our relationship with all of them, and providing the dedicated support, resources, and innovative solutions they deserve.”
The statement added: “We are committed to exploring new collaborations, forging strategic partnerships, and harnessing cutting-edge technologies to elevate our label services to even greater commercial growth and success. Our dedication to investment and expansion remains resolute.
“Our incredible staff, brimming with talent and expertise, will remain at the core of our success, and we will continue to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to drive unparalleled results for our artists and labels.”
Mattias Hjelmstedt, executive chairman and founder of Utopia Music, said: "In Utopia's relentless pursuit of neutrality and robust partnership with digital distributors and the music industry, we acquired Absolute Label Services in February 2022. Our aim was to connect with more labels and creators. Now, as part of a strategic evolution, we are refining our focus. Utopia is doubling down on its core service offerings: physical distribution, radio monitoring, TrackNClaim, Enhance & Discover, HeartBeat, and Accelerate.
"In line with this refined focus, and in an effort to ensure the continued delivery of exceptional services in all aspects of our business, we believe it's most beneficial for the Absolute team, led by founders Henry Semmence and Simon Wills, to reacquire the company. This move is a testament to our ongoing commitment to excellence and efficiency. It reflects our belief that Absolute Label Services will continue to deliver outstanding digital distribution services to the music industry under the leadership of its original stewards. Utopia is excited about this strategic shift and looks forward to continuing its mission with an even stronger focus on its core services."