Sony Corp. is negotiating to acquire Big Machine Label Group, home to country music acts such as Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts, according to two sources.
Big Machine, founded by Scott Borchetta in 2005, may fetch more than $200 million, the sources said. Negotiations are at an early stage and an agreement may not be completed, they said. Universal Music Group also may enter the bidding.
Doug Morris, Sony Music’s chairman and chief executive officer since July, is recruiting hit-making producers. Last week, Morris hired Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, who has 20 No. 1 songs, to start a new Sony label. Borchetta, with a roster of the biggest country acts, would run Sony’s Nashville, Tennessee-based operation as part of the sale, the sources said.
“Expanding the music lineup is positive, and country music has a certain demand in the U.S.,” said Ryosuke Katsura, an analyst at Mizuho Securities Co. “However, what the market wants to see is Sony turning around its TV business first, and the company may be better off focusing on that.”
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