Swiss fintech company Utopia Music has completed another major acquisition.
Utopia Distributions Services has agreed a deal for market-leading physical entertainment distributor Cinram Novum. Terms were not disclosed.
Cinram Novum is one of the UK’s largest music and film fulfilment and distribution companies. Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, it has provided supply chain solutions to the home entertainment industry for over 40 years.
According to Official Charts Company data, exclusively available to Music Week, Cinram is the No.1 physical album distributor with more than 11 million units for the year to date.
The company works with Universal Music, Sony Music and PIAS’ Integral (which covers multiple independent labels), as well as indie labels including Dirty Hit, Fire and Full Time Hobby. Four of the current Top 5 albums are distributed by Cinram, including Yungblud’s No.1 LP and Harry’s House by Harry Styles.
The transaction safeguards a total of 300 jobs at Cinram Novum. The company previously went into administration in 2017 and was rescued by Patriot Group Investments. Since then, the overall physical entertainment market has continued to decline significantly, despite growth in vinyl sales.
The loss of Cinram Novum would have been detrimental to the entire UK music industry
Roberto Neri, chief operating officer at Utopia Music, said: “The loss of Cinram Novum would have been detrimental to the entire UK music industry, resulting in financial losses and disruption for labels, retailers, artists and their fans. Through this acquisition, our intention is that Utopia can secure Cinram’s future and safeguard the UK Music Industry. We would like to extend our thanks to the Interpath team for their hard work and guidance, which helped make this possible.”
Rick Harrison, managing director at Interpath Advisory, said: “We are delighted to have delivered this transaction which secures the future of the Cinram Novum business, providing a new platform on which it can move forward. We would like to thank the teams at Cinram and Utopia, as well as music labels and other customers across the entertainment industry, for their tremendous support during the sales process. We wish Utopia every success for the future.”
Utopia Distribution Services was advised by Rob Russell and Vivak Vaish of DLA Piper. Interpath was advised by Bethan Moore and Lizzy Wood of Shoosmiths.