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First State Investments announces sale of FSMG to Chrysalis PLC


First State Investments International Limited has sold First State Media Group (Ireland) Limited (FSMG) to Chrysalis PLC (Chrysalis) for GBP11 million.

FSMG is the investment advisor and music publishing administrator to the FS Media Works Fund I, L. (the fund) which has built up a music publishing catalogue of approximately 45,000 copyrights, including the former "DreamWorks", "Wind-up" and “Sheryl Crow” catalogues.
The deal will have no impact on the fund’s current investors. Co-Managing Director, Steve McMellon, will continue as a consultant to Chrysalis on FSMG’s music operations while the other members of FSMG’s investment team, including Co-Managing Director, Geordie Manolas, will remain in place. It is not currently envisaged that there will be any change to the fund management side of FSMG, and the fund will continue its strategy of investing in a diversified portfolio of media copyrights and related rights which are capable of generating consistent long-term cash flows for its investors – underpinned by stable music publishing catalogues that have a robust and sustainable royalty stream.
Chrysalis, listed on the London Stock Exchange, is an established player in the music publishing industry with a track record of success in managing music publishing assets. Chrysalis has almost doubled its Net Publishers Share (a key financial metric in the music publishing industry) in the last decade from GBP6.2 million in 1999 to GBP12.3 million in 2009. Chrysalis also has a strong track record in the exploitation of music publishing assets – such as ‘on-the-ground’ royalty collection and in maximising associated commercial opportunities.
“We have been very pleased with the development of this side of our business over the last three years, during which FSMG has quickly become an established music publishing group,” said Gary Withers, Regional Managing Director EMEA, First State Investments. “To enable the business to develop further it was clear that increased scale would become important, and this has led to the decision to sell at this time. We are delighted that Chrysalis will be the new owner of this business and we believe that FSMG has excellent growth prospects.
“There will be no impact on any of our other investment strategies and we shall continue our focus on the specialist investment areas of Asia Pacific and Global Emerging Markets equities, listed and unlisted infrastructure, global natural resources, property securities and global equities.”
Despite the severe economic downturn and difficult asset raising environment of the last 18 months, FSMG managed to attract high profile international institutional investors and the Fund has now invested more than USD155 million in music copyrights.
First State Investments has remained one of the most successful and best performing investment houses during the recent challenging market conditions. In February this year, it was ranked 5th in terms of UK net retail sales over the course of 2009 by Lipper FMI, and also secured Best Group (Non UK Equity Large) at the 2010 Lipper UK Fund Awards.

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