A multidisciplinary, cross-office Davis Wright Tremaine team has represented Samuel French Inc., in the sale by its owners of the renowned script publisher and licensor to Concord Music.
Family-owned prior to the sale, Samuel French has a history stretching back nearly 200 years and holds rights to 10,000 titles—including venerated works by playwrights such as Edward Albee, Lorraine Hansberry, Arthur Miller, and August Wilson.
Nate Collins, the president of Samuel French and a great-grandson of one of the company's early-20th-century presidents, is continuing at Concord as general manager of the Samuel French imprint and told the New York Times he expects most of the company's employees to stay on as well.
"It's gratifying to assure the viability of Samuel French for many generations to come," said Gray Coleman, chair of the Entertainment Transactions practice group at Davis Wright Tremaine, who co-led the deal with DWT's Claude Goetz.
DWT's combination of deep expertise with the performing arts and mutli-disciplinary skills helped make the high-profile transaction possible. The deal drew on DWT practitioners in corporate, tax, benefits, and real estate law across five offices. "Not many firms can provide this kind of top-flight service across so many disciplines at reasonable rates," said Coleman.
Coleman and Goetz, both partners in Davis Wright Tremaine's New York office, have collaborated on performing arts-related transactions for more than two decades.
As reported in the New York Times, Mr. Collins said the merger will benefit playwrights because it will allow for more technological innovation and stronger relationships with producers. Mr. Collins told Playbill the merger "will enable us to continue to provide our clients with the most innovative products, dynamic marketing, and transparent reporting."