Transaction Details

January 22, 2020


Technology, Digital Media and Media, Digital Media

Deal Type

Mergers and Acquisitions

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GCA Advises Downtown’s AVL Digital Group on Its Acquisition of FUGA

GCA is pleased to announce our client, global music company Downtown Music Holdings (Downtown), announced that its subsidiary, AVL Digital Group (AVL), has acquired FUGA®, the Netherlands-based B2B music technology and services company. FUGA will continue to function as a standalone business within Downtown's suite of distribution and monetization capabilities operated across AVL. As part of a broader enterprise, FUGA, its clients and partners will benefit from expanded resources, infrastructure and global scale to more quickly bring to market added services and unparalleled innovation for music industry rights holders.

"We could not be more enthusiastic about becoming part of the Downtown portfolio. This acquisition will give FUGA the backing to achieve our global ambitions in this space so we can continue serving the independent music community, developing our service offering and improving our technology. We share a common business approach and philosophy with Downtown, one rooted in providing control and flexibility for creators and rights holders — it is a perfect fit," said FUGA CEO Pieter van Rijn.

With a flexible technology platform that provides content management, workflow and distribution services, delivering to more than 260 different digital service providers globally, FUGA enables distributors, record labels, artist services companies and other rights holders to directly reach the world's music streaming market. In addition, FUGA provides full service marketing, promotion, monetization and label services to the rapidly growing independent music sector. At present, more than 500 different businesses, such as labels, artist platforms, distributors and other rights holders around the world rely on FUGA's technology and services to support their operations.

"Pieter and the team at FUGA have built an impressive business that offers clients an impeccably high level of service. Their robust technology, well-earned reputation for innovation on behalf of the clients they serve, and global perspective of the digital music industry are welcome additions to our existing set of capabilities and services," said AVL CEO Tracy Maddux.

"The exceptional team at FUGA and their unique focus on providing best-in-class capabilities has put the company at the forefront of empowering the fastest growing sector of the music industry. Following our acquisition of AVL, integrating FUGA is a natural next step for Downtown in developing businesses that support a more equitable and innovative music ecosystem," said Downtown Music Holdings CEO Justin Kalifowitz.

In recent years, advances in music creation and distribution, as well as broader shifts in how music is discovered and consumed, have proven to be a boon for the industry, particularly independents. According to recent reporting from Billboard, approximately 35 percent of the global recorded music industry is now controlled by independents. In fact, independent artists are a significant growth driver within the recorded music sector, bringing in $1.6B in 2018, an increase of 34 percent compared to just nine percent growth for the rest of the market, according to MIDiA Research. Capitalizing on these trends, Downtown has been methodically building out a "full-stack" global music company, most recently with last year's acquisition of AVL, which includes the CD Baby®, Soundrop®, DashGo℠ and AdRev® businesses.

GCA acted as exclusive financial advisor to Downtown in connection with this transaction.

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