Ontario Teachers’ buys CEO stake in music publisher Ole

Music publisher Ole said its founder and CEO, Robert Ott, has sold his stake in the company to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. No financial terms were disclosed. Launched in 2004 with the backing of Ontario Teachers’, Ole manages the rights of more than $550 million in music intellectual property. The catalogue of the Toronto-based business includes more than 55,000 songs and 60,000 hours of TV and film music across a range of genres. Ziad Hindo, senior managing director, capital markets, at Ontario Teachers’, said the pension fund plans to further support the growth of the “iconic, Canadian-based company.”


ole Announces Sale of CEO Stake to Ontario Teachers’, Robert Ott to Continue as CEO

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 17, ole, one of the world’s fastest growing rights management companies, today announced that its CEO and founder, Robert Ott, has sold his stake in the company to founding equity partner Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’). Mr. Ott, a veteran of the music industry who founded ole in 2004, will continue to lead ole under a new term as CEO.

“This transaction underscores Ontario Teachers’ commitment to ole and concludes the process that ole ran last year to optimize its capital structure,” said Mr. Ott. “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. ole is well-capitalized and is extremely well-positioned to lead and benefit from the disruption and globalization that our Industry is experiencing.”

The company currently operates out of eight offices in the U.S., UK and Canada, and is home to artists like Rush and Timbaland.

Said Mr. Ott: “I am very excited about the new initiatives that we are working on and with this renewed commitment from Ontario Teachers’ and I look forward to an unprecedented era of growth.”

Ontario Teachers’ Senior Managing Director Ziad Hindo, Capital Markets, commented, “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.”

ole has also been experiencing its most successful creative period with eight #1 songs on the US Country charts and top charting singles in the Pop and Urban space with artists such as Justin Timberlake and Sam Smith. The company is in diversified but complementary businesses in music publishing, recorded music labels, production music, a YouTube MCN and global rights management.

About ole
ole is one of the world’s foremost rights management companies with over half a billion dollars in investments in music intellectual property (IP). With operations in Toronto, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles and London, ole is engaged in IP acquisitions, creative development, and worldwide rights management. The ole catalog includes over 55,000 songs and 60,000 hours of TV and film music across all genres. Copyrights under ole’s control include songs recorded by artists such as: Beyoncé, Blake Shelton, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Michael Jackson, One Direction, Rihanna, Rush, Taylor Swift, and Timbaland.

ole controls substantial A/V music and secondary rights including catalogs 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 including: Jingle Punks, Cavendish Music, 5 Alarm Music, MusicBox, Nelvana Production Music, Auracle, Compact Media and Cue. ole also operates a robust label services arm under the umbrella of 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.

About Ontario Teachers’
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, with $189.5 billion in net assets at December 31, 2017. It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, approximately 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an average annualized rate of return of 9.9% since the plan’s founding in 1990. Ontario Teachers’ is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London and its Asia-Pacific region office is located in Hong Kong. The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario’s 323,000 active and retired teachers.

About Robert Ott
Robert Ott is CEO of ole, one of the world’s largest independent music publishing and rights management companies. Robert founded and launched ole in 2004 and has since raised US$1 billion in funding for ole and deployed more than $550 million of that into intellectual property acquisitions.

At ole, Robert manages a team of over 200 professionals in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, London and Nashville, who are focused on company and IP acquisitions, rights management, creative development, label services, production music, YouTube, and AVSR rights. The company continues to develop songwriters and has attained over 150 signings throughout its history. Prior to founding ole, Robert was Vice President and General Manager of BMG Music Publishing Canada (1998-2004). Robert is a five-time past President of the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA) and sat on the Board of Directors of CMRRA for over a decade. He is currently a SOCAN Board Director.

For more information please contact:
Sylvia Lindae, 647-953-0581