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HIPGNOSIS BUYS PILE OF COPYRIGHTS FROM KOBALT CAPITAL

Merck Mercuriadis and his Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd. are announcing their biggest acquisition yet—a trove of 42 song catalogs purchased from an investment fund run by Kobalt Capital. The portfolio of copyrights, priced at a cool $322.9m, includes 33k+ songs from more than 1,500 songwriters, a number of whom are boldfaced below. The deal brings Hipgnosis’ holdings to 117 catalogs and 57k songs.

The “blended acquisition multiple” for this big batch of tunes is a toothsome 18.3x historic yearly income. Net proceeds from Hipgnosis’ September fundraising helped bankroll the purchase.

The Kobalt windfall spans songs that were hits for Fleetwood Mac, Steve Winwood, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Eminem, One Direction, Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Demi Lovato, 2Pac, The B-52s, Nelly, 50 Cent, Weezer, George Thorogood, George Benson, Jimmy Buffett, Kelly Clarkson, Blind Faith, Swedish House Mafia and countless others. Among the top tunesmiths represented are Lindsay Buckingham, Winwood, Savan Kotecha, Walter Afanasieff, Bonne McKee, Rock Mafia and Nettwerk.

Merck was busy skiing down a gigantic mountain of cash and couldn’t be reached for comment. Kidding! Of course he had a comment.

“Hipgnosis has had a special relationship with Kobalt Music since its inception, so it’s only natural that we would eventually make a deal for Kobalt Capital’s inaugural fund. Willard [Ahdritz], Johan [Ahlstrom] and Laurent [Hubert] have curated a wonderful portfolio of proven songs that is incomparable to almost anything other than Hipgnosis Songs' own catalog, which it complements beautifully. They are both small catalogs with songs of great cultural importance and an incredibly high degree of success.” 

“When we started KCL in 2010,” added Kobalt founder/chief and KCL CIO Ahdritz, “it was the world’s first regulated music royalties fund, offering clients our unique, transparent service and giving them comfort that we could provide a long-term commitment to administer their works if they wanted to sell their copyrights.

“Today, I am pleased to say that we have delivered on our promises to both our clients and our investors. The KCL advisory board has agreed to sell our first fund to Hipgnosis. The decision to sell to Merck and Hipgnosis was an easy one as we know them so well, and the copyrights will be well taken care of under a long-term administration arrangement with Kobalt Music Group.”

“Since 2018, Hipgnosis has been a client, and as Merck continues to grow his catalog of songs, one thing will remain constant: Kobalt will continue to deliver best-in-class publishing admin services,” Hubert chimed in.

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