Simon Cowell has bought out Sony Music Entertainment’s stake in their joint talent and production company, handing the TV presenter total control over the company after more than 11 years of partnership.
Cowell today announced he has bought Sony’s 75 per cent stake in Syco Entertainment, which owns TV franchises Got Talent and The X Factor, for an undisclosed price.
The deal will give Cowell 100 per cent ownership of the company, in a move that will make it easier for applicants on shows hosted by Cowell to sign record deals with labels other than Sony.
Sony will retain music assets in the joint venture as part of the deal, including a catalogue of music by artists such as One Direction, Leona Lewis and Little Mix.
Cowell, who is worth around £390m according to The Sunday Times rich list, is reported to have earned £27m in his initial Syco Entertainment deal with Sony in 2009.
The company’s first project was the launch of a US version of The X factor, a franchise which now airs in more than 130 territories. The Got Talent brand, which is the world’s number one reality TV format, currently has 76 local versions produced across the globe and international tape-sales to more than 180 countries.
Commenting on the move, Cowell said: “It’s been a unique partnership and Sony have always backed and supported me to create television formats.
“I won’t say this was an easy decision to make, however sometimes you have to personally support something you are so passionate about.
“I’ve always believed it’s important to take on new goals in order to drive new ideas and creativity so I’m very excited to be taking an independent and creatively-led Syco Entertainment into the future.”
Sony Music Group chairman Rob Stringer said: “At this particular contractual crossroads, it was simply the right thing for Simon to take control of his TV assets and propel his company in a new direction.
“Sony Music has had incredible global success with so many artists that have been launched through Simon’s vision and innovation and we are proud to continue to represent the Syco music catalogue and its artists.”