Robert Ott, founder and CEO of the Toronto-based music rights company ole, has sold his stake in the company to founding equity partner Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) for an undisclosed sum and will continue his leadership role with the IP firm.
“This transaction underscores Ontario Teachers’ commitment to ole and concludes the process that ole ran last year to optimize its capital structure,” Ott said in a prepared statement yesterday (May 17). “I am very pleased to continue to work with Ontario Teachers’ and to lead ole into a new era from the foundation of the great success story we’ve built together over these many years.” He added that the company, with offices in Toronto, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles and London, “is well-capitalized and is extremely well-positioned to lead and benefit from the disruption and globalization that our Industry is experiencing.”
Ontario Teachers’ Senior Managing Director Ziad Hindo, Capital Markets, commenting in the same press release, stated: “We look forward to the opportunity to further support the continued growth of an iconic, Canadian-based company with a proven track record like ole.”
Early last year, reports suggested the Canadian company was looking to cash-in on its assets and was seeking suitors.
Since founding the company in 2004 with backing from Ontario Teachers, Ott has raised US$1B in funding for the company and spearheaded more than $550M in IP acquisitions.
The company controls substantial A/V music and secondary rights including catalogues from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Entertainment One, MGM, Miramax, Nelvana, and Nu Image/Millennium, as well as an extensive production music library of over 750,000 tracks, and a label services arm under the umbrella of the ole label group. The division includes Anthem Entertainment Group, the label home of Rush, Big Wreck, Ian Thornley, Steven Page, Stompin' Tom Connors and The Tea Party. Anthem Legacy includes Max Webster, Ian Thomas, and red dot, which has developed and up-streamed artists including Charlie Worsham, Haley Reinhart, Josh Dorr, Sam Grow, and Jordan Davis.