People/Biz

Simon Cowell buys out Sony’s stake in Syco, takes full ownership

Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment have reached an agreement that will see Cowell buy out the music conglomerate’s stake in Syco, the joint venture talent and production outfit behind Got Talent and The X Factor. The ...
July 15, 2020

Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment have reached an agreement that will see Cowell buy out the music conglomerate’s stake in Syco, the joint venture talent and production outfit behind Got Talent and The X Factor.

The deal is the result of a buyback option maintained by Cowell (pictured) through the joint-venture renewals and a mutual negotiation process.

Cowell will transfer ownership of Syco’s television formats to a privately held company to be called Syco Entertainment, of which he will have sole ownership.

As part of the agreement, Sony Music will retain the JV’s music assets, including its roster of current artists and back catalog.

“It’s been a unique partnership and Sony have always backed and supported me to create television formats,” Cowell said in a statement. “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.”

Rob Stringer, chairman of Sony Music Group, added: “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 Entertainment purchased Cowell’s share of Syco Music and Syco Television in 2005.

Later, in 2009, Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment launched the joint venture, which owned the rights to formats including the Got Talent franchise and The X Factor, both created by Cowell.

The Got Talent brand — launched in 20016 — currently has 76 local versions produced across the globe and international tape-sales to more than 180 countries. The X Factor, which first premiered in 2004, airs in more than 130 territories.

From these TV shows, during the partnership, artists were exclusively signed to Sony Music Entertainment-owned labels, including Syco Music.

As part of this new agreement, Syco Music remains wholly-owned and managed by Sony Music Entertainment and all artists remain signed with Sony Music Entertainment.

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.

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