Simon Cowell Buys Out Sony’s TV Stake in Syco, Now Owns ‘Got Talent’ and ‘X Factor’ Formats Outright

Newly renamed Syco Entertainment now privately owned company

Last Updated: July 15, 2020 @ 9:01 AM

Simon Cowell is buying out Sony Music’s stake in their joint venture, Syco Music Entertainment, giving Cowell sole ownership.

Syco is behind global franchises “Got Talent” and “The X Factor,” both created by Cowell. The company will be renamed Syco Entertainment.

This buy-out, personally by Cowell, is the result of a buyback option maintained by Cowell through their joint-venture renewals and a mutual negotiation process. As part of the agreement, Sony Music will retain the JV’s music assets, including its roster of current artists and back catalog.

“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Rob and all of the Sony Music executives, artists and partners all over the world,” Cowell said. “It’s been a unique partnership and Sony have always backed and supported me to create television formats. The shows we created have found so many amazing artists over the years and so many of the various Sony labels all over the world have enabled so many of those artists to fulfill their dreams. We have all shared some incredible achievements, and importantly we have had lots of fun. 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.”

In 2005, Sony Music Entertainment purchased Cowell’s share of Syco Music and Syco Television. In 2009, Cowell launched a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment whereby the JV owned the rights to several television formats including “Got Talent” and “X Factor.” From these TV shows, during the partnership, artists were exclusively signed to Sony Music Entertainment owned labels including Syco Music, Columbia Records, Epic Records, Sony Music Latin and RCA Records. 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.

“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 Group chairman Rob Stringer said. “Sony Music has had incredible global success with so many artists that have been launched through Simon’s vision and innovation and we are proud to continue to represent the Syco music catalogue and its artists. On a personal note, it has been an amazing adventure working with him as we have shared so many exciting pop culture moments as friends and partners.”

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