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HIPGNOSIS SONGS GROUP IS BORN

Merck MercuriadisHipgnosis is acquiring Kenny MacPherson’s Big Deal Music, which will be rebranded Hipgnosis Songs Group, effective immediately.

MacPherson will serve as CEO of HSG, reporting to Mercuriadis; he’ll be joined by four Big Deal veterans on its executive team: Co-Presidents Casey Robison and Jamie Cerreta and EVP Dave Ayers (in New York) and SVP Pete Robinson (in Nashville). Like MacPherson, these execs have all signed five-year deals. They will be joined in the new entity by 30+ team members.

MacPherson, Cerreta and Ayers founded Big Deal in 2012, and over the years it has inked such writers as Teddy Geiger, Julian Bunetta, John Ryan, Joe London, Kamasi Washington, Sharon Van Etten, Sylvan Esso, Jake Sinclair, Dan Wilson, St Vincent and My Morning Jacket. It has equity in smashes by Shawn Mendes, One Direction, Thomas Rhett, Niall Horan, Panic! At the Disco and plenty more besides. The House of Kenny has collected more trophies than you’ve had hot suppers, including but not limited to five Grammys, 126 NMPA, BMI and ASCAP awards, and 27 RIAA certifications.

Hipgnosis Songs Group will also carry forward such Big Deal joint ventures as The Big Family (Julian and Damon Bunetta and John Ryan); Nice Life (Ricky Reed, Larry Wade, Brad Hearing); Mad Decent (Diplo and Kevin Kusatsu) and the podcast And the Writer Is (with Ross Golan, Joe London and Megahouse Music).

The pubbery’s 4,400-song catalog, Merck notes, is “highly complementary” to that of Hipgnosis. The latter company, which has been peeling bigtime for hit catalog for the past couple of years, will now have a frontline entity developing new copyrights.

You say you wanna know all about the legal teams? That's the kind of drill-down that's possible with a seven-page press release! Hipgnosis was repped in the deal by RBC Capital Markets, LLC led by Kent Savagian and Agnes Kacicki, Nigel Farr and Adam Hickey at Herbert Smith Freehills, Tim Mandelbaum and Loren Danzis at Fox Rothschilds, Ogier and Deloitte.Big Deal was represented by Shot Tower Capital's David Dunn and Rob Law; Wallace E. Christner and Rebecca J. Newman at Venable LLP and Elliot Groffman and Paul Gutman at Carroll Guido Groffman Cohen Bar & Karalian, LLP.

“Over the last two years it has been my privilege to assemble and work with a world-class team of individuals of the highest calibre,” reads a quote from Merck. “With this acquisition, and following the appointment of Ted Cockle and Amy Thomson earlier this week, the scale and quality of people working with me to drive shareholder returns reaches new heights and sets our company on the path for the next chapter of its growth. This is a best in class team and we now have the resource to be on top of every song’s destiny all day every day and I’m delighted to welcome Kenny, Casey, Jamie, Dave, Pete and the other 30-plus new team members into the Hipgnosis Family.”

"Collectively my partners and I have spent our careers identifying and nurturing some of the most iconic songwriters in contemporary music and creating value for our investors,” proclaimed MacPherson. “Over the last eight years at Big Deal Music my partners and I built a meaningful cultural legacy by assembling an incredible group of artists and label partners and world-class songwriters. We look forward to bringing those creators and their enormous talent with us as we join Merck and his team at Hipgnosis. What Hipgnosis has assembled in such a short time is truly remarkable—a catalog of over 13,000 compositions from some of the most important creators in the history of music. My team and I look forward to bringing all of our experience to bear to unlock more value in these catalogs and continue to build on the amazing work that Merck and his team have already done at Hipgnosis.”

Rumors that Kenny had filled a wading pool with Cabernet Franc to commemorate the occasion could not be confirmed at presstime.

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