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ABP is alive with the Sound of Musicals

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NETHERLANDS - Imagem Music Group, the music publishing investment fund of ABP, has extended its back catalogue and acquired the rights to the songs and musicals written by Rodgers & Hammerstein (pictured), including Oklahoma, South Pacific and The Sound of Music.

This is now the third such deal since the company was created in February 2008 as a joint venture between the ABP pension fund and its partner CP Masters. (See earlier IPE story: From Boyzone to Britney - ABP forays into music)

Through this division, ABP has bought the European publishing and revenue rights to over 90,000 songs at Universal Music Group as well as British music publisher Boosey & Hawkes. (See earlier IPE story: ABP buys music catalogue for a song)

Under this latest deal, Imagem will earn the revenue from the musical rights to all R&H songs, which include Oh, what a beautiful mornin', Do-Re-Mi and Liverpool Football Club's anthem You'll Never Walk Alone, as well as own the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organisation (RHO), which still involves members of Richard Rodgers' and Oscar Hammerstein II's families in the running of the business.

The collections should give Imagen a catalogue of over 200,000 songs and annualised revenue of €100m.

A spokesman for ABP was unwilling to disclose the value and price of the R&H deal, though media sources elsewhere has suggested the package is worth approximately $200m (€150m).

As a music licensing agency, RHO, also represents the works of artists such as Irving Berlin - who wrote White Christmas - and Rodgers & Hart's The Lady is a Tramp from Pal Joey, and is now in further dialogue to continue as North American representative to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, and the use of his musicals, including Evita and Phantom of the Opera.

A statement from the firm said RHO's current president and executive director, Theodore Chapin, will stay with the firm once the deal is completed.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email julie.henderson@ipe.com

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