Concord Music Acquires Samuel French Forming Concord Theatricals

By: Dec. 17, 2018

Concord Music Acquires Samuel French Forming Concord Theatricals

Concord Music has announced the acquisition of legendary theatre publisher and licensor Samuel French and the formation of Concord Theatricals. Concord Theatricals is comprised of the professional and amateur theatrical licensing catalogs of Samuel French, Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals, Tams-Witmark and Concord Music's joint venture with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, The Musical Company.

This merger of businesses makes Concord Theatricals the most substantial licensing house in the world and the only one providing comprehensive services to creators and producers of musical theatre, including theatrical licensing, music publishing and cast recordings. In addition, Concord Theatricals develops, licenses, produces and invests in new musicals for first-class production.

Over its 188-year history, Samuel French has represented some of the finest plays and musicals in the English language throughout the world from their offices in the U.S. and U.K. Its catalog of over 10,000 titles includes plays by August Wilson, Ken Ludwig, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Lorraine Hansberry and Neil Simon, along with the musicals Grease, Chicago, Fun Home, The Wiz, The Secret Garden and Heathers.

For Concord Music executives Steve Smith, Chairman, Scott Pascucci, CEO and Jake Wisely, Chief Publishing Executive, bringing Samuel French into the Concord Music family and the creation of Concord Theatricals fulfills a significant and ongoing commitment to theatre. Concord's investment began with the acquisition of the Marvin Hamlisch catalog in 2011, the creation with Andrew Lloyd Webber of The Musical Company in 2016, the acquisition of the celebrated Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization as part of Imagem Music in 2017 and Tams-Witmark in 2018. The company also recently participated in the creation of two new productions aimed at Broadway and the West End with an investment in Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill and the development of Soul: The Stax Musical. Additionally, Concord Music is proud to see the transfer of the St. Ann's Warehouse production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic Oklahoma! to Circle in the Square Theatre in March 2019.

"Samuel French adds to Concord Theatricals a broad diversity of rights, relationships, experience and executive talent, along with a great family legacy that will continue to flourish with Nate and Abbie's participation," comments Wisely. "French also broadens our existing relationships and business synergies, as we now represent all of the musicals of Marvin Hamlisch, both the stage rights and film and TV music rights of Agatha Christie Ltd., as well as various recordings and now the plays of Steve Martin. With Samuel French, Concord is no longer just music."

"The Samuel French team is incredibly excited to join the Concord Theatricals family," states Samuel French President Nathan Collins. "For 188 years, Samuel French has been the iconic name in theatrical licensing and publishing and this merger will enable us to continue to provide our clients with the most innovative products, dynamic marketing and transparent reporting. Under Sean's leadership, we will build upon the great catalogs of the two organizations and create the preferred home for the works of playwrights, composers and lyricists."

Concord Theatricals is led by Sean Patrick Flahaven, who has spent the last two years as the founding CEO of The Musical Company. Flahaven has over 20 years' experience as a music publisher, licensing executive, record and show producer, music director/arranger, and composer/playwright. He will report to Concord Music Chief Publishing Executive Jake Wisely. Collins, who has served for eight years as President of Samuel French will be General Manager, Concord Theatricals, reporting to Flahaven.

"It's a genuine privilege to represent these iconic shows and catalogs. We are uniquely positioned to promote our writers' work and competitively expand our roster going forward," says Flahaven. "Our focus is on serving our clients' art, protecting their rights and helping our customers bring great theatre at every level of production to audiences all over the world."

Concord Theatricals is guided by an executive team of experienced theatre professionals drawn from all four companies worldwide. The team includes Ted Chapin as President and Chief Creative Officer of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Sarge Aborn as Chief Executive Officer of Tams-Witmark. Concord Theatricals senior staff includes Victoria Traube, Imogen Lloyd Webber, Abbie Van Nostrand, Amy Rose Marsh and Vivien Goodwin. Concord Music's Publishing business maintains a wealth of theatrical experience in its President for North America, Bill Gaden, and its President for Europe, John Minch.

Lisbeth R. Barron and Barron International Group, LLC initiated and acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Samuel French for the transaction. Barron also represented Concord on its acquisition of Rodgers & Hammerstein and the other assets of Imagem Music Group, as well as having advised Tams-Witmark on its sale to Concord.

Concord Theatricals is made up of Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals, Samuel French, Tams-Witmark and The Musical Company. With a team of experienced theatre professionals drawn from all four companies in New York, London, Berlin and affiliates worldwide, Concord Theatricals has now become the most important licensing house in the world, the only firm that provides truly comprehensive services to creators and producers of musical theatre, including theatrical rights acquisition and licensing, music publishing, cast recording and first-class production under a single banner.

Concord Theatricals represents a list of iconic musicals from the catalogs of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill and Irving Berlin; a lineup of successful shows by young musical theatre composers including Lin Manuel Miranda, Adam Guettel, Jason Robert Brown, Shaina Taub and Michael John LaChiusa; and some of Broadway's enduring classics such as A CHORUS LINE, HELLO DOLLY!, GYPSY, HAIR, WIZARD OF OZ, BYE BYE BIRDIE, FUNNY GIRL and DREAMGIRLS. Concord Theatricals also works with Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Really Useful Group to license the composer and his collaborators' smash hit musicals, including JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, EVITA, CATS, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and SCHOOL OF ROCK and will continue to administer Lloyd Webber's incomparable song catalog.

Concord Theatricals proudly claims an unparalleled roster of playwrights because of its acquisition of Samuel French. This well-balanced and widely diverse catalog includes Dominique Morisseau, Anne Washburn and Mac Rogers combined with prominent American and British playwrights such as Neil Simon, Tom Stoppard, Edward Albee, August Wilson, Tennessee Williams and David Mamet.

Concord Theatricals additionally facilitates cast albums with Concord Music's Craft Recordings label, allowing for international distribution and dedicated promotion and marketing. To date, these collaborative recordings have been nominated for two GRAMMY Awards (COME FROM AWAY and CAROUSEL).

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