Hipgnosis Has Spent Over $650 Million On Catalog Acquisitions So Far -- With No Plans to Slow Down

Courtesy of Hipgnosis


Music IP also announced catalog acquisitions from "Uptown Funk" writer Jeff Bhasker and British band Kaiser Chiefs.

LONDON — Total spending by music IP investment company Hipgnosis Songs has crossed the £500 million ($650 million) barrier, with plans in place to invest a further £500 million on catalog acquisitions, the company's latest interim financial results have revealed.

Since its launch in July 2018 to 30 September 2019, the Guernsey-registered business invested just under £320 million ($420 million) on full or partial stakes of 27 catalogs.

Hipgnosis says those deals were calculated on a blended acquisition multiple of 12.84 x historical annual net income and added 7,475 songs to its rapidly-expanding roster, including hundreds of international hit songs by the likes of The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Chic co-founder Bernard Edwards, Ari Levine, Sam Hollander, Teddy Geiger and Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart.

Since October 1, the company has spent £186 million ($244 million) on a further 15 catalogs (on a blended acquisition multiple of x 12.99), increasing its total portfolio to 42 catalogs and 11,225 songs. Notable acquisitions in that time include catalogs by Timbaland, The Chainsmokers and Benny Blanco.

Net revenue from the portfolio in the six months ending 30 Sept. was £22.6 million ($29.8 million), which Hipgnosis said exceeded its expectations.

The value of the 27 catalogs in that period increased by 7.9% on acquisition cost to £344.6 million ($454 million), according to an independent valuer. The company, which is headed by former music manager Merck Mercuriadis, says it is in "advanced stage discussions on an investment pipeline of over £1 billion."

Hipgnosis' interim financial results were published on the same day the company revealed its latest catalog acquisition: 436 songs by the multi Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Jeff Bhasker, whose credits include "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, recently announced as one of Billboard's "Top 10 Songs of the Decade."

Terms were not disclosed for the deal, which sees Hipgnosis pick up 100% of the songwriter's interest in his catalog. Other songs co-written and/or produced by Bhasker include "Photograph" by Ed Sheeran, "Find Your Love" by Drake, Alicia Key's "Girl On Fire" and Harry Styles' "Sign Of The Times."

He also co-wrote and produced Fun.’s 2012 album Some Nights, which contained the Grammy song of the year winning "We Are Young," and produced four songs on Bruno Mars' U.S. No. 1 album Unorthodox Jukebox.

Bhasker additionally has a long association with Kanye West and co-wrote and produced a number of songs on the hit albums 808s & Heartbreak and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as well as the Kanye West and Jay-Z collaboration Watch The Throne.

"You would be hard pressed to name a creator of the last 20 years that is more important than Jeff. He has been an essential part of amongst the most culturally important and commercially successful recordings of our time," said Mercuriadis.

Another new catalog addition to the Hipgnosis portfolio is the first four studio albums and greatest hits collection by British indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs, who have signed over 100% of the worldwide ownership of the master rights to the IP company.