FORT MILL, S.C. — A Canadian company plans to buy South Carolina-based Muzak, whose name has become synonymous with elevator music.

Toronto-based Mood Media Corp. said last week it is paying $345 million for the privately held Muzak and will keep the combined company’s U.S. headquarters in Fort Mill where it has been since in 1999.

“Mood Media’s acquisition of Muzak will create a global in-store media provider servicing over 470,000 commercial locations in over 39 countries,” Muzak said in a statement. “In the U.S., the combined business will serve over 200,000 national and 100,000 franchisee locations. The combined customer base will include more than 850 U.S. and international brands in diverse market sectors that include retail (food, fashion, cosmetics), leisure and hotels, oil and gas, telecommunications, financial institutions, and fast food. Together Mood Media and Muzak will have an extensive music library that includes 1.7 million rights-included tracks and more than 30,000 original recordings, which means customers will benefit from greater product choice.”

Last November, Muzak named Steven Richards as its chief executive officer. He replaced Stephen Villa “who is leaving Muzak to pursue new opportunities,” the company said at the time.

“Over the past five years, Mood Media has transformed the in-store media industry by offering unparalleled innovation and convenience to our customers across the world,” said Lorne Abony, chief executive and chairman of Mood Media Corporation. “We now have the opportunity to extend this legacy to a world-recognized brand and create a truly global leader with U.S. headquarters in the Charlotte (N.C.) area.

“We see attractive opportunities for profitable growth through cross-selling Mood Media’s products to Muzak’s existing customers, expanding into adjacent markets and adjusting Muzak’s distribution system to our industry-leading internet-based technology.”

Muzak, which started in 1934 playing phonograph records for hotels and restaurants, currently delivers its product to subscribers over satellite radio. Mood Media uses an Internet-based delivery system that Muzak will begin using.

Muzak successfully emerged from bankruptcy last year after restructuring its debt. The company still owed more than $200 million, but company officials say that will be paid off when the deal closes in the second quarter.

In a statement, Muzak said some of its preferred shareholders could recieve up to $19 million based on Muzak’s performance over the next three years.

Mood Media says the combined company will have annual revenues of about $400 million.

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