German label services company BMG is making a move into the live music business with an agreement to acquire a majority stake in independent German live music promotion company and event agency Undercover GmbH.
Following the acquisition, Undercover founder and CEO Michael Schacke and his team of 30 will remain in place and the live events company will serve as the foundation for a new live events business and event division that will be incorporated into BMG’s operations in Germany.
Through the acquisition, BMG plans to expand the services it offers to its clients to include optional integrated tour promotion and ticketing service.
The new business unit will also collaborate with other content divisions of BMG parent Bertelsmann in Germany including broadcaster RTL, book publisher Penguin Random House and magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr under the aegis of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance.
Founded in 1991, Undercover has developed a reputation as one of the leading concert promoters in Northern Germany, staging 200 events a year. As well, Undercover also develops and produces its own formats and acts as an agent brokering tours and festivals of national and international artists throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Moving into live is the logical extension of BMG’s plan to integrate all the services an artist could need under one roof, with the artist brand at the center of it all. Crucially, we have found in Michael Schacke and his team a partner who shares our values,” said Dominique Casimir, BMG, EVP Repertoire & Marketing Continental Europe.
“I founded this company in 1991 to be able to perform with my band and that’s how I became a promoter. This idea has since grown into a nationwide concert agency with over 30 employees. Discussions about a partnership with BMG commenced long before the coronavirus pandemic, but we are now perfectly set up for when the market returns. There is a significant opportunity for us working together to offer a genuine alternative for artists in Germany and beyond, building on Undercover’s established recipe of ‘live entertainment and artist partnership’,” added Undercover CEO Michael Schacke.
The deal is expected to close by the end of October, BMG said.