Sin­ga­pore scion buys 49% of Rolling Stone

> Plans afoot to di­ver­sify iconic magazine into new busi­nesses

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

SIN­GA­PORE: A Sin­ga­pore com­pany headed by a scion of one of Asia’s rich­est fam­i­lies has bought a 49% stake in Rolling Stone, with plans to di­ver­sify the iconic magazine into new busi­nesses in­clud­ing live events and mer­chan­dis­ing.

BandLab Tech­nolo­gies, a mu­sic and tech­nol­ogy start-up headed by 28-yearold Kuok Meng Ru, bought the stake for an undis­closed sum and will part­ner cur­rent own­ers Wen­ner Me­dia, the firms said in a state­ment late Sun­day.

Rolling Stone In­ter­na­tional, a new sub­sidiary to be headed by Kuok, will or­gan­ise events in­clud­ing con­certs and de­velop mer­chan­dis­ing and hos­pi­tal­ity ser­vices, Bloomberg News re­ported.

Rolling Stone In­ter­na­tional will “build on the brand’s world­wide ap­peal and recog­ni­tion”, the firms said in a state­ment.

Kuok is the son of Sin­ga­pore palm oil mag­nate Kuok Khoon Hong – founder of Wil­mar In­ter­na­tional, the in­dus­try’s big­gest trader – and grand­nephew of Robert Kuok, Malaysia’s rich­est man.

“Rolling Stone’s im­pact on cul­ture over the years has been im­mea­sur­able and I’m truly hon­oured to be join­ing the team on the next phase of its jour­ney,” said Kuok, a Cam­bridge grad­u­ate.

BandLab Tech­nolo­gies’ port­fo­lio al­ready in­cludes a cloud plat­form and so­cial net­work for mu­si­cians, a mu­sic­mak­ing web­site, an in­stru­ment ac­ces­sory de­sign stu­dio and South­east Asia’s largest dis­trib­u­tor of au­dio equip­ment.

“We are thrilled to have found an ex­tra­or­di­nary part­ner for Rolling Stone as we fo­cus on the brand’s global expansion,” Gus Wen­ner, Wen­ner Me­dia’s head of dig­i­tal, said in a state­ment.

“We see an enor­mous op­por­tu­nity to di­ver­sify the brand into new mar­kets and new ar­eas of busi­ness.”

Mu­sic and pop cul­ture magazine Rolling Stone was founded in 1967 by Gus Wen­ner’s fa­ther, Jann S. Wen­ner, and Ralph Glea­son with a US$7,500 loan from friends and fam­ily.

Ac­cord­ing to Sin­ga­pore daily The Straits Times, the deal has been in the works for some 15 months af­ter Kuok was in­tro­duced to Gus Wen­ner.

Bloomberg News re­ported that the two struck up a friend­ship over their in­ter­est in mu­sic and dig­i­tal me­dia, as the Wen­ners were look­ing for a way to ex­pand their reach in Asia, home to more than half the world’s pop­u­la­tion.

“It be­came much big­ger than what we be­gan with,” Kuok told Bloomberg News.

“It was re­ally more of a meet­ing of minds and vi­sions and long-term part­ner­ship that made it pos­si­ble.”

In ad­di­tion to its fo­cus on pop mu­sic, Rolling Stone forged its rep­u­ta­tion by fea­tur­ing some of the best writ­ers in the US – such as Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thomp­son – and by turn­ing its cov­ers into show­cases for top pho­tog­ra­phers and con­tro­ver­sial sub­jects.

New York-based Wen­ner Me­dia owns and pub­lishes 12 in­ter­na­tional edi­tions of the magazine, as well as US Weekly and Men’s Jour­nal. – AFP

File pic­ture of Shin sur­rounded by re­porters as he makes his way upon his ar­rival at Gimpo Air­port, Seoul, in July this year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.