Less Bravado At Universal

Universal’s purchase of Big Life Music coincided with the news that it’s also cutting the workforce at Bravado, the merchandising outfit it acquired when it bought Sanctuary Music Group last August.

Bravado co-founder and chief exec Barry Drinkwater is expected to be gone within days and about a dozen staffers, a fifth of the company’s workforce, are expected to follow him out the door.

Retailers have already been informed that the company’s warehouse and distribution operations will be moved from its southwest London headquarters to Universal’s CD distribution plant at Milton Keynes.

It wasn’t clear at press time who will replace Drinkwater, who founded the company with his brother Keith more than 25 years ago.

Since then it’s grown to be one of the world’s biggest merchandisers with offices in London, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sweden, and a massive client list that includes Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Kings Of Leon, Franz Ferdinand, Eagles, The Who, Destiny’s Child and Elton John.

Sanctuary bought the company in 2002.

Universal’s acquisition of Big Life Music, which was founded by Jazz Summers and Tim Parry in 1987, further strengthens its position as the world’s largest music and publishing conglomerate.

Big Life Music has been one of the most successful independent music publishers of the last 20 years. It owns more than 2,000 copyrights.

"Rarely do you find a music company as edgy and diversified as Big Life" Paul Connolly, Universal Publishing’s president for Europe and the U.K., reportedly said. "Jazz and Tim have consistently pushed the creative envelope over many years."