Last summer, Ears To The House received an email with a truly staggering claim. It said that Simon Dunmore, boss of the entire Defected empire, would be announcing his retirement during 2022. As this was site was a one-man band at the time, our editor did some research to see if the story stood up – knowing there could be consequences, reputational and possibly financial, if he were to get it wrong.
However, it quickly became clear a number of things didn’t stack up – so the decision was taken not to publish the story. But whilst there is no suggestion being made here that Dunmore is retiring, change does seem to be afoot. This week, we took a look at the Defected Records Ltd page on Companies House – the official registrar of companies in the UK. And we were quite mystified by what we found.
According to documents filed by Defected themselves, the three registered directors at the company now are Wesley Anthony Saunders, George Mason and Pennsec Limited. But you might have noticed that one particular name is missing – Simon Dunmore, the man who founded and ran Defected from the beginning.
Back on 8th August, this TM01 form appeared on Companies House records – confirming that as of 29th July, Simon Dunmore was no longer a registered director in the company which he founded. Searches on other Defected owned companies such as Glitterbox revealed the same story.
Wesley “Wez” Anthony Saunders, in the meantime, was appointed as director to several Defected companies on the same date. Companies House records show he’s a registered director in no less than 15 companies right now, including in the Simma Black label.
So what exactly is going on? Well, despite a number of requests to do so over the past week, Defected have declined to comment to Ears To The House. In the absence of this, we took a look at a 674 page filing submitted on the Companies House website – and we were left quite confused.
This long document lists much, if not everything that Defected owns the rights to. It reveals on page 45, for example, that Defected retain the rights to “Coma Cat” by Tensnake until 18th May 2035. Or head to page 57, where it’s revealed “Sunday Shoutin” by Johnny Corporate was signed on 3rd April 2000 on a perpetual contract – in other words, Defected own the rights forever to that one.
Now, Simon Dunmore’s role within the business hasn’t changed recently – and Ears To The House sources have told us no changes are likely anytime soon, with several describing Dunmore as “a workaholic”. But words such as “security” and “deeds” appear in this document frequently, suggesting a large investment has been made into the company recently.
And it turns out it has. Music Week have found out that Saunders has effectively bought the company. He “entered into a security agreement via a holding company with Pinnacle Bank to fund the acquisition of Defected”, with the deal being completed on July 29th – the same date where Dunmore was deposed from the list of directors.
It should be emphasised there’s nothing unusual about this setup. Those investing into companies being listed as directors on Companies House, or a legal firm appearing on their behalf is also quite normal. One thing which is certainly clear is that change is, yet again, afoot within the Defected machine…