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BMG Acquires BBR Music Group

Germany-based international music conglomerate BMG has acquired BBR Music Group, including the Broken Bow, Red Bow, Stoney Creek and Wheelhouse labels and its publishing company Magic Mustang Music. The entire 48-person BBRMG staff will transfer to BMG led by current BBRMG EVP Jon Loba, who continues in that role. Loba reports to BMG/US President Repertoire & Marketing Zach Katz. BBRMG Founder Benny Brown and CFO Paul Brown remain as consultants.

"BBRMG is a phenomenally successful operation whose philosophy and commitment to its artists fits perfectly with the new BMG," says BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch. "I have a huge respect for what Benny and his team have achieved. The combination of BBR and BMG gives artists and songwriters in Nashville and beyond a new route to the worldwide market. We will be the alternative so many artists are looking for."

Brown launched Broken Bow in 1999 and the label realized its first chart success with Craig Morgan's top 10 hit "Almost Home" in 2003. Current flagship artist Jason Aldean reached the top 10 with his first single "Hicktown" in 2005. Imprint Stoney Creek launched in 2009, Red Bow – a partnership with Sony RED – opened in 2012, and Wheelhouse was created in 2015. Read more about the early days of Broken Bow in our 2012 profile here.

"Since 2001 I've been approached many times by various major labels wanting to purchase us," Brown says. "The most important thing to me has always been my artists, my employees and my songwriters. They have always been my family and after meeting with Hartwig and Zach, I knew that I'd found the right partners to ensure my family stayed together and to also continue the BBRMG legacy. We were one of the very first indie labels to ever break through in country music. Because of that we created a different culture within our walls that's pretty simple – happy people are productive people. That's always been important to me and that's also the way Hartwig and Zach run BMG. I knew they shared my vision and my passion and that's what made this the right fit."

"We couldn't be more excited about joining BMG," says Loba. "BMG respects our heritage, but this is also about the future. Being part of the BMG family will afford our artists, songwriters and staff incredible new opportunities. Beginning today, for the first time we are plugged into a proven global platform committed to delivering for artists and songwriters. We can't wait to get started."

Katz says, "I want to pay tribute to what Benny and his team have created. Nashville and its culture are such an integral part of the music industry that it was always only a matter of time before we expanded our presence. Never did we imagine that we would be able to do so with such an extraordinary roster of artists and team members. I am confident that together BMG and BBRMG will offer an unbeatable combination for artists and songwriters."

This marks a return to Music City label operations for BMG after an eight-year absence. The new BMG launched its Nashville-based music publishing operation in 2009. EVP Kos Weaver oversees Nashville operations, with a roster that includes Alabama, Brett Beavers, busbee, Danny Gokey, Hillary Lindsey, Buddy Miller and John Paul White. BBRMG's artist roster includes Aldean, Trace Adkins, Dustin Lynch, Randy Houser and Thompson Square, among others.