Brett Hellerman & Steve Smith: The 2014 Billboard Power 100
NO. 87

Brett Hellerman & Steve Smith

Brett Hellerman
CEO/chief investment officer, Wood Creek Capital Management


Steve Smith
Chairman; Bicyle Music, Concord Music Group

This power duo invested $160 million in the music industry in 2013

After placing an estimated quarter of a billion dollars in music business bets since its 2006 acquisition of publisher Bicycle Music, Brett Hellerman’s private-equity firm Wood Creek stepped up its investment in the industry in a big way in 2013.

First, Wood Creek closed on its acquisition of Concord Music Group—for approximately $123 million, sources say—the third-largest independent label in the United States. Then, in November, Wood Creek paid about $23 million through Bicycle Music for Wind-up Records’ master recordings catalog, which will be marketed and distributed by Concord. Including the purchase of Music Publishing Co. of America for about $12 million, Wood Creek spent about $160 million on music assets in 2013, Billboard estimates.

“Wood Creek ran into the building at a time when people were crying ‘fire’ in the music business,” says Bicycle Music chairman Steve Smith, who has been appointed chairman of Concord. “We easily doubled the size of our investment last year, and right now we are out raising money with the intention of doubling it again in the new year.”