From Hipgnosis elevating $210m to Warner spending $100m: It’s MBW’s Weekly Spherical-Up


Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly recap – where we make sure you get the top five stories that made our headlines over the past seven days. MBW Roundup is backed by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and reduce their touring costs.


What high-priced music catalog will Merck Mercuriadis, head of the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, add to his company’s $ 2.2 billion portfolio?

The always reliable (ahem) Daily Mail rumored this week that Mercuriadis was talking to Noel Gallagher about buying up the Oasis writer’s publishing rights.

Gallagher, meanwhile, told the Daily Mirror that his song rights will all be returned to him by 2025, that he will happily whip them for £ 200 million and that – instead of giving that money to his kids – he will use it to buy a superyacht and a Learjet and in his own words “f ***** g have it”.

A bit of silliness in a relatively quiet week for the music business? For sure.

Either way, Hipgnosis has announced that it is targeting a fresh raise of £ 150 million ($ 210 million) via a new stock issue on the stock exchange. Investors have also been advised that it intends to add to its credit facility to add to its war chest.

Hipgnosis does this not just to buy beautiful songs, but to compete in an increasingly hectic market.

Example: David Guetta sold his music catalog to Warner Music Group for more than $ 100 million this week. The French DJ was the eighth most popular artist worldwide on Spotify when the WMG was announced.

As MBW pointed out, the Guetta News suggests the Frenchman was able to regain ownership of his masters from his previous recording deal (with EMI / Parlophone) about 10 years after their initial release.

Will the more lucrative sound recording rights of the last 15 years come onto the M&A market for similar reasons? Watch this room.

Elsewhere, Island Records announced a new tour in New York this week as former UMG company leader Darcus Beese joined Warner Music – where he will start a new JV label.

Read on to catch up on MBW’s biggest stories over the past five days …

1) Hipgnosis brings in an additional $ 210 million on the London Stock Exchange

The Hipgnosis Songs Fund raised more cash by placing a new stock tranche on the London Stock Exchange.

The company announced this week that it is targeting an increase of approximately £ 150 million ($ 210 million) through the placement of 123.97 million common shares at an issue price of £ 1.21 per share.

Hipgnosis Founder and CEO Merck Mercuriadis said, “This increase gives our historic and new public market investors the only chance for the next 12 months to gain access to Hipgnosis’s existing portfolio and a pipeline that is some of its most important and successful Songs of all time, at reviews highly attractive given the continued explosive growth in streaming that will greatly increase future revenue.

2) Warner just spent over $ 100 million on David Guetta’s recordings catalog

The game of acquiring music catalogs is getting hotter – and the big music rights holders are intervening.

This week it was Warner Music Group’s turn to cause a sensation. WMG has confirmed that it has acquired the entire catalog of recordings from French DJ / producer superstar David Guetta. A deal for future recordings has also been agreed.

The Financial Times reports that the Guetta deal cost Warner more than $ 100 million. MBW has spoken to industry circles near the deal who have confirmed that figure, but also told us that the price is below $ 150 million.

3) Imran Majid and Justin Eshak named co-CEOs of Island Records

Imran Majid and Justin Eshak have been named co-CEOs of Island Records, the home of artists such as Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Sean Paul and Skip Marley.

Described by Universal Music Group as “one of the most dynamic and successful artist development teams in the music industry,” Eshak and Majid will move from Sony Music to Iceland from Columbia Records, where they have been Co-Heads of A&R since 2018.

The duo’s appointment to Iceland on January 1, 2022 marks a return to UMG for Majid and Eshak, who met at Republic Records in 2004 where they worked as A&R executives.

4) Darcus Beese is moving to Warner Music UK

Last month, after sources told us, MBW told you that Darcus Beese OBE was about to start a UK-based joint venture label with a major record company that was not Universal Music.

Now we know he’s coming to Warner Music UK … and, as predicted, he’s starting a joint venture label with the major. Warner says Beese will share more details about the new label in the coming months.

In addition to this JV label, Beese will take on the role of Warner Music UK’s EVP from July 1st.

5) DEAG and Kilimanjaro buy 90% of the shares in UK Live Ltd

The German DEAG has, through its British subsidiary Kilimanjaro, 90% of the shares in the British tour operator and promoter UK Live Ltd.

The acquisition complements DEAG’s British live company portfolio, which also includes the ticketing outlet Gigantic Holdings (acquired in 2019) as well as the promoter Flying Music Group (acquired in 2017) and the Scottish Belladrum Festival (acquired in 2018) .

UK Live co-founders and directors Nick Billinghurst and Matt Smith remain on board as shareholders. DEAG says the duo will “continue to run the company in the long term”.Music business worldwide

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