Metallica Awesomely Secure Controlling Stake in Furnace Record Pressing
1980’s Thrash Metal masters Metallica has bought the Furnace Record Pressing factory in Alexandria, Virginia, according to a statement from shop founder and CEO Eric Astor. This acquisition marks a major milestone for the band as they continue to increase their influence in the music industry.
Furnace Record Pressing is a vinyl record pressing plant that has been operating since 1996 and is one of the few places where vinyl records can still be manufactured. The factory’s acquisition by Metallica provides an opportunity for them to control their own production and distribution of other music and their own, granting them more creative freedom. Since 2014, Furnace has produced more than 5 million vinyl LPs for the Grammy Award-winning Metallica.
Furnace founder Eric Astor stated in his statement that Metallica “will continue to operate Furnace Records Pressing as it always has, but with the added benefit of being able to create unique experiences for fans around the world.”
Official Press Release by Steve Martin (Little Nasty Man PR):
METALLICA CEMENTS PARTNERSHIP WITH FURNACE RECORD PRESSING
Band Acquires Controlling Stake In World-Class Vinyl Manufacturer
“Metallica and Furnace Record Pressing (“Furnace”) today announced that Metallica has acquired the majority interest in Furnace, a leading provider of high-quality vinyl records and related services. The acquisition formalizes a long-standing relationship between the band and Furnace that has produced more than five million pieces of Metallica vinyl since 2014.
Having worked together on such landmark projects as the highly acclaimed definitive deluxe box set editions of Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, …And Justice For All, Metallica (a/k/a The Black Album) and S&M2, Metallica and Furnace have long enjoyed a prolific and productive relationship — one rooted in a shared fiercely independent ethos and passionate dedication to quality. This partnership between Metallica and Furnace represents yet another example of the band’s unflagging commitment to artistic control of all aspects of its career, as well as its devotion to its fans: The capacity to meet the massive demand for Metallica vinyl via trusted partner and industry leader Furnace will enable the band and its Blackened Recordings label to better serve the needs of any and all vinyl lovers in the Metallica family—as well as those of the various artists and record labels who will continue to utilize Furnace’s services.
Founded by Eric Astor in 1996, Furnace is known for making extremely high-quality records at its 70,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in Alexandria, Virginia. With it’s 12 Pheenix Alpha presses and two Finebilt presses, Furnace is one of the largest record pressing companies in the U.S. Furnace offers standard and heavyweight pressings, color vinyl, special effect color vinyl, and custom vinyl etching to meet the creative needs of any music artist. Furnace also oversees other services related to the creation and packaging of records. In addition to Metallica, Furnace counts many major artists, global music companies, record labels and indie/punk acts as clients. Eric Astor (Founder and CEO), Ali Miller (COO) and Mark Reiter (VP – Operations) will continue in their respective roles leading Furnace. Each remains an equity owner of the company and each will be a member of the company’s Board of Directors.
“Building Furnace into the dedicated and experienced family of experts that it is today has been a huge effort, but immensely gratifying” said Eric Astor, founder of Furnace. “Knowing our long-term future is secured while also being better able to take advantage of growth opportunities is really exciting for every member of the Furnace staff.” Ali Miller, Chief Operating Officer of Furnace, added, “We have found ideal partners in Metallica. They want us to continue our customer driven focus. To that end we look forward to providing even greater capacity and service to each of our customers in the future.”
“We couldn’t be more happy to take our partnership with Furnace — and Eric, Ali and Mark specifically — to the next level,” said Lars Ulrich, co-founder of Metallica. “Their indie spirit, the passion they have for their craft… culturally we’re kindred souls.” James Hetfield, co-founder of Metallica, added, “Furnace has been great to Metallica and more importantly to our fans. This deepened relationship between Metallica and Furnace ensures that fans of vinyl everywhere, particularly our Fifth Members, will have continued access to high quality records in the future.”
Metallica was represented by its affiliated growth equity and content investing platform known as Black Squirrel Partners (“Black Squirrel”), with Kirkland & Ellis acting as counsel and Citrin Cooperman assisting with financial due diligence and tax advisory. Dunlap, Bennett & Ludwig acted as counsel to Furnace.”