Universal Music acquires ARS Entertainment


MUMBAI: Belgian record company ARS Entertainment will now become a part of Universal Music Group. The acquisition was concluded by Patrick Busschots, ARS Entertainment founder and Managing Director, and Vico Antippas, Senior Vice President, Universal Music Group International (UMGI), and President, Nordic, Central & Eastern Europe, UMGI.  Terms were not disclosed.

Vico Antippas said, “Universal Music is always striving to push boundaries and expand the scope of our activities.  The future of our business lies in an entrepreneurial, hit-driven approach, and we believe that this new partnership with ARS Entertainment fits perfectly into that strategy.  We are very excited to be working with Patrick.”

For Patrick Busschots, the agreement marks an important step forward.  He said, “It was an emotional decision for me, since I built up ARS with the sweat of my brow.  But I am convinced that with Universal Music, we can begin a successful new chapter in our story.”

Patrick Busschots opened the ARS record shop in Antwerp in 1976.  The business was a success, expanding into a record label.  In 1989, ARS Productions went global, due to the success of Technotronic (“Pump Up The Jam”).  Over the years, the record company broadened into ARS Entertainment, focusing on the local market with artists like M-Kids, Laura Lynn, ReBorn, Nailpin, and many more.  ARS Entertainment also built up a DVD and book business.  The Kontich-based company employs 15 people, and has annual turnover of €10 million.

Effective October 1, Patrick Busschots is appointed Managing Director of Universal Music Belgium.  He succeeds Dirk de Clippeleir, who left the company earlier this month.

Busschots added, “I am facing an exciting challenge.  Anyone who thinks that with this deal, I am going to take things easy does not know me at all.  I have given a commitment to Universal Music that I will run their Belgian company with the same dedication and drive I brought to ARS.  Universal Music and ARS are two strong teams, and the creation of synergies will be really exciting.  Of course, I am really looking forward to working with fantastic artists like U2, 50 Cent and Nelly Furtado, and introducing new artists like Kate Nash.”

Busschots also noted that ARS will continue to exist as a label for Belgian artists within Universal Music.