Lindsey Buckingham Sells His Catalog of Fleetwood Mac, Solo Songs to Hipgnosis

Lindsey Buckingham
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Lindsey Buckingham performs in support of his Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre on Oct. 9, 2018 in San Francisco, Calif.

Hipgnosis now owns 100% of both the writer's and publisher's share of Buckingham's 161-song catalog.

Hipgnosis continues its acquisition spree, announcing it has acquired, in two steps, 100% of the Lindsey Buckingham catalog, which includes all of his hit songs recorded with Fleetwood Mac, plus 50% of the artist's unreleased compositions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fleetwood Mac classics written or co-written by Buckingham include "Go Your Own Way," "The Chain," "Big Love," "Never Going Back Again" and "Tusk," among others. Since 1991, the band's catalog has moved nearly 26 million album consumption units in the U.S., with the vast majority of that number from Buckingham's time in the band; while in his solo career, which produced songs like "Holiday Road" and "Trouble," the artist's catalog has accumulated 550,000 album consumption units; and another 70,000 units on his album with former bandmate Christine McVie, according to MRC Data/Nielsen Music.

"Lindsey Buckingham is one of the greatest guitarists, songwriters and producers of all time yet is still so underrated," Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd and the Family (Music) Ltd. said in a statement. "His work with Fleetwood Mac has brought the world unparalleled joy over the last 45 years and he belongs in any discussion featuring Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney. It's wonderful to welcome him and his iconic songs both as a solo artist and with Fleetwood Mac to the Hipgnosis family."

Hipgnosis' initial stake — 25% according to the company's press release — in the Buckingham catalog came through its acquisition of the Kobalt Music Copyrights Fund I catalog for $323 million. While the Buckingham announcement doesn't mention the Kobalt catalog acquisition, a Hipgnosis representative confirms that  the 25% stake came in the Kobalt deal, which closed Sept. 30.

Kobalt had acquired its stake in the Buckingham catalog back in 2012. While terms of that earlier deal were never disclosed, at the time sources told Billboard that the artist was seeking a $30 million payday for an undisclosed portion of the catalog. Those sources further indicated that translated into a 14-15 times multiple of net publisher's share, also known as gross profit. They also said that the Fleetwood Mac catalog threw off "insane" amounts of performance revenue. Multiples have escalated since 2012, when 15 times NPS was considered a top price. Nowadays, multiples for iconic hit songs have been known to trade for 20 times NPS and and even higher nowadays.

In any event, with its subsequent deal, Hipgnosis now owns 100% of both the writer's and publisher's share of Buckingham's 161-song catalog.

According to the announcement, Buckingham was represented by managers Matt Sadie and Simon White at C3 Management; his attorney, David Altschul, of Altschul Olin & Vandergast LLP, and his business manager, Rick Mozenter of Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman.

"Prior to arriving at an agreement with Hipgnosis, I had wonderful long conversations with Merck Mercuriadis," Buckingham said in a statement. "I was pleased to find a kindred spirit, someone who's a big fan of my work in Fleetwood Mac, and an even bigger fan of my solo efforts. I look forward to working with Merck and the whole Hipgnosis team going into the future, and am confident that my body of work will be curated with great heart and insight."