Universal Music Group's $31M deal for Prince catalog nulled
- Bang Showbiz
- 14 July 2017
Universal Music Group's distribution deal for Prince's back catalog and unreleased music from his vaults has been made void
Universal Music Group's $31 million distribution deal for Prince's back catalog has been nulled.
The contract has been made void after the corporation reportedly accused the estate of the late 'Purple Rain' hitmaker of fraud and misrepresentation when they held talks about the deal.
However, the judge decided not to bring up the accusations and the estate's advisor and industry expert, L. Londell McMillan, respected that decision.
He said: "There was no wrongdoing on our end. We stand by our work."
UMG allegedly threatened them with a lawsuit should they not be allowed a refund of the big sum of money if they decided to pull out, The New York Times newspaper reports.
On Thursday (13.07.17), Judge Kevin W Eide approved at Carver County District Court in Chaska, Minnesota - Prince's hometown - the record label's plea to be freed from the deal which was administrated by Comerica Bank & Trust.
UMG are happy with the results and say it was an "amicable" decision in the end.
They said in a statement: "Universal Music Group and ht estate of Prince Rogers Nelson welcome the court's approval of our amicable resolution to this matter.
"We look forward to continuing to work closely together with Prince's music publishing and merchandise to ensure that we deliver the very best experiences for Prince's fans around the world."
When the cancellation of the deal is finalised, the estate of Prince - who died from an overdose in April last year - will have to make a full refund and a new buyer will need to be found.
Finding someone to pay for the rights to his catalog and unreleased music from his vaults could prove difficult given Universal said Warner Bros. Records already hold some rights.
UMG would have been able to release records such as '1999', which was released in 1982 in the US after Prince's deal with Warner expired.
NPG Records Inc., which stands for New Power Generation, was founded by Prince to release his music after Paisley Park Records was shut down by Warner Bros. Records in 1993.
UMG were set to gain US rights to certain prize Prince albums, which were released from 1979 till 1993.
In a statement, which was released to BANG Showbiz in February, Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG, said: "Prince was one of the greatest musical talents of all time - an incomparable genius as a performer, recording artist and songwriter. It's an absolute honour to once again be selected by Prince's estate to be the home for publishing, merchandise and now for so much of his incredible body of recordings. UMG is committed to honouring Prince's legacy and vision by creating the highest quality products and experiences."