FlightMode Digital, the investment holding company owned by acclaimed International DJ Black Coffee, has concluded a deal acquiring a signficant stake in Gallo Music Investments (GMI), from Lebashe Investment Group for an undisclosed amount.
GMI, South Africa’s largest and oldest independent music label, was purchased by Lebashe from Tiso Blackstar for R75-million in March this year. GMI was incorporated into news and entertainment business Arena Holdings, which is 100% owned by Lebashe Investment Group.
While Lebashe Chairman Tshepo Mahloele believes the investment in GMI significantly enhances Arena’s entertainment offering to its consumers, the transaction with FlightMode will add tangible value and attract diversified audiences to its platform.
“We are delighted that South Africa’s most extensive musical archives reside within Arena Holdings, and it is our intention to explore and reintroduce these amazing classical archives to our mainstream market, locally and globally. The collaboration with internationally renowned DJ Black Coffee will usher in a new era for the South African music business on a global scale,” says Mahloele.
Similarly, DJ Black Coffee says: “This is the first of many moves we are working on to change the landscape of both the South African and African music industry. The music in the Gallo catalogue is some of the most culturally rich that has ever been created in this country. The partnership with Lebashe to invest in the catalogue and masters, is more than just a business transaction – it’s about creating an environment in which artists and creatives have a truly equitable stake. It is also the beginning of an industry revolution where African artists are part of structures that are fair and encourage new ways to monetize content.”
Gallo Record Company has been in business for more than 90 years and is focused on the acquisition of music rights, representing artists, recording, manufacturing, digital and physical distribution, and the sale of pre-recorded music and video in SA and internationally.
As an established and iconic music label, it boasts as stable that includes some of the biggest artists to come out of South Africa, including Lucky Dube, Dorothy Masuka, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Stimela, & Sipho Hotstix Mabuse,Mango Groove – all of which have achieved multi-platinum sales status in South Africa. The current music catalogue includes Bhekumuzi Luthuli, Harari, Soul Brothers, Mahotella Queens, Sakhile, Thandiswa Mazwai, Siphiwe Dana, & Sipho Gumede.
About Arena Holdings
Arena Holdings is the largest national English publishing group, and the second largest digital publisher in South Africa. We own the largest music and independent film catalogue in Africa, as well as leading TV channels, TV production, and radio stations. The business has strong exposure to the rapidly growing digital, broadcast and mobile markets, with a broad reach. Arena Holdings is the proud custodian of iconic brands that include the Sunday Times, Sowetan, Business Day, Financial Mail, The Herald, and Daily Dispatch – with footprints across print, digital, social media, and leading industry event platforms. The company’s business model is underpinned by a unique network of assets, including dedication to excellence and a strong commitment to providing quality content and services to our varied audiences and customers. Arena Holdings is a division of Lebashe Investment Group.
Flightmode Digital was established by Black Coffee in 2017 to hold all content projects, software applications and investments in early stage businesses. Flightmode has equity stakes in some of Africa’s top start ups namely Yoco, Andela, Sweep South and Rensource. On the software front Flightmode is developing GongBox, a digital music streaming service that will launch in the third quarter of 2020.
Lebashe is a 100% black-owned unlisted investment holding company with an experienced, multi-faceted management team. The Company has grown significantly since inception and the vision is to become a leading African investment company by focusing on three core investment silos: Financial Services, ICT and Industrial Technology and Complementary Sectors. At Lebashe’s core, is an aim to create a balance sheet that outlives its creators and produces generational wealth by establishing a conglomerate of companies that can collectively operate in an eco-system. Lebashe will become a template for aggregating and partnering entrepreneurs with a vision of building a legacy balance sheet.
Feature pic- eNCA.