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MERCK'S BUYING SPREE PAYS OFF

Merck MercuriadisHipgnosis Songs Fund more than doubled its net revenue in the six months ended 9/30, to £44.8m, as operating profit topped £10m.

Reporting fiscal-year interim results, Hipgnosis detailed its activity between 4/1 and 9/30: It acquired 63 catalogs with 44,545 songs at a cost of £500m; raised £426.4m of gross equity capital; increased its revolving credit facility to $400m; and increased the annual dividend target by 5%, to 5.25 pence per ordinary share.

The company’s investment adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, is in advanced-stage discussions on an investment pipeline of more than £1b.

“2020 has been a year that the world never contemplated, as both society and the economy have been devastated by the pandemic,” Mercuriadis said. “The case for proven songs as the best uncorrelated asset class gets stronger every day. We have an incredible pipeline and are very excited for 2021.”

Operative Net Asset Value increased 7.4%, to 125.35p, during the period as the fair value of catalogs, as determined by the independent valuer, increased by £114.2m (10%).

Among the songs acquired during the period were Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way,” Blondie’s “One Way or Another,” Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and 50 Cent’s “In Da Club.”

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