Australian label and publishing company Alberts, a longtime fixture of the country's music industry and a key component in the early success of AC/DC, has been acquired by BMG.

Founded in 1885, Alberts initially repaired clocks and watches, but founder Jacques Albert was a musician as well as a watchmaker, and over time, the store expanded into selling sheet music and instruments -- ultimately became a label, publishing company and recording studio whose successes included AC/DC and Easybeats.

Financial Review reports that the Albert family will retain its stake in the company's key publishing holdings, including the AC/DC works it owns, although BMG will now become the administrator for those recordings. For outgoing CEO David Albert, the decision to sell — while no doubt lucrative — proved bittersweet.

"It’s positive for the business and for the future," Albert told Billboard. "But the other emotion is, all the family feels there’s a sense of sadness that it’s the end of a 131-year era. What makes it a bit easier from the family’s perspective is we made it together. But there couldn’t be more mixed emotions."

Alberts' sale is part of an overall season of change for the company, which made headlines late last year when their studio was scheduled to be demolished in order to make way for luxury apartments. But although it marks the end of an era, Albert insisted the sale wasn't simply about cashing in.

"This was not about going around and finding someone willing to pay the highest amount, we never contemplated putting the business on the open market," Albert added. "BMG had been looking to get into this market and we have been contemplating the macro environment and the changes happening in our industry. It has nothing to do with the current performance of the business, but it was looking to the future and it was BMG coming into this market. The timing was perfect."

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