The Guardian reports that Sanctuary Records has been sold by Universal Music to German record label BMG in a deal worth £40 million ($61.8 million).
The purchase includes over 170,000 songs by such immense artists as Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, The Kinks, and Neil Young.
Since Universal Music purchased EMI last year, they have been forced to sell some of their assets to comply with government regulators who want to prevent an unfair monopoly in the record business.
The Guardian reports that "BMG, which is a joint venture between German media company Bertelsmann and the US private equity firm KKR, has built up the rights to more than one million songs and recordings" and this is actually the second purchase that they've made from Universal Music recently; the first was Mute Records in December 2012, which included catalogs for Depeche Mode, Erasure, Moby and Nick Cave. However, neither deal is official until they have been approved by the European Commission.
"Sanctuary was the largest independent music management company in the world, and one of the biggest indie labels, until it was bought by Universal in 2007. The label was formed in 1979 when its founders discovered Iron Maiden in a London pub, and continued to sign artists with long-term appeal rather than those with short-term appeal."