This article first appeared in the May 31st issue of Billboard Magazine.
Kidz Bop, the series of compilation albums of youngsters singing current pop hits that has become a commercial juggernaut, is on the block, according to sources. And The Walt Disney Co. is prominent among the possible suitors, these sources say.
The brand released the 25th volume of its basic series on Jan. 14 this year; it has sold 273,000 copies so far, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Overall, Kidz Bop has racked up 14.6 million in U.S. album sales, as well as roughly 3.7 million in track download sales. But there’s more to the brand than just recordings: In the 13 years since it started, the franchise has expanded to include an annual Kidz Bop tour, a book series (seven volumes and counting), a radio show on SiriusXM and a video game.
All told, the brand generates about $12 million in annual revenue and produces about $2.8 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, sources say.
The sellers are founders Cliff Chenfeld and Craig Balsam, of New York-based music and marketing company Razor & Tie, and ABRY Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm that bought a 50 percent stake sometime around 2006. They are looking for a six- to seven-times multiple of EBITDA, which works out to an asking price of $16.5 million to $19.3 million, these sources suggest. The boutique investment bank Shot Tower Capital is shopping the Kidz Bop brand and assets, they say.
In addition to Disney, other possible bidders include Entertainment One; Ole, the Canadian music publishing concern; and the three major labels.
Executives from Razor & Tie and ABRY Partners declined to comment. Disney also declined comment.