Paris-based Believe Digital Music has acquired India’s Venus Music from the Venus Worldwide conglomerate. As part of the 100% acquisition, Venus Music is now rebranded as Ishtar.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Venus, one of India’s best known music brands, began in the early 1980s as an audio cassette manufacturer trading under the name Venus Records & Tapes Mfg Co. In 1988, Venus Records & Tapes Private Limited was incorporated as a platform to enter the entertainment business at a corporate level. The outfit amassed a catalog of 700 film soundtracks, including popular Bollywood titles like “Saajan,” “Baazigar,” “Baadshah” and “Garam Masala” and 3000 other non-film albums across genres.
The Venus group later diversified into film production and distribution, and in 2011, the company was renamed Venus Worldwide Entertainment Private Limited.
With the acquisition, the Venus Music library will be leveraged internationally through Believe’s global affiliations. Believe has a presence in 50 countries and a portfolio of brands including TuneCore, Nuclear Blast, Naïve, Groove Attack and AllPoints. In June, Believe raised €300 million ($355 million) via an IPO and the company now has a market capitalization of €1.9 billion ($2.25 billion).
The first release under the Ishtar label is a reworking of the hit song “Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai” from the 1991 film “Saajan,” sung by Mamta Sharma, with her and television actor Shaheer N. Sheikh starring in the music video directed by Ashraf Ali, available from Aug. 5.
Vivek Raina, MD, Believe India, said: “This rebranding exercise represents a significant step in the company’s evolution. The reputation and equity built by Venus Music over the years is an asset for Believe and with this rebranding, it will evolve the service offerings through new content creation, independent artist association, promotions across television and media, music distribution and other media in India and overseas market. We are also looking at leveraging the catalog to promote and support talent as well as music.”