Round Hill Music, which made big news when it announced that it acquired the North American rights to six iconic Beatles songs at the beginning of the year, just went to the other end of the music generational spectrum by agreeing to acquire a catalog of over 100 songs that includes some of the hottest songs around in the last year or two, like Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade,” Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You,” B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You” and Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It.”
In a story first reported by Reuters, Round Hill Music has agreed to acquire the catalog, which was owned by Arthouse Entertainment, a music publishing company and production house owned by entertainer/songwriter Kara DioGuardi and her partner Stephen Finfer. Other sources confirmed to Billboard that the deal is taking place, as did a Round Hill Music executive.
When the catalog first came up for sale, sources say the song portfolio produced a net publisher’s share of $1.2 million annually and that the sellers were looking for at least a 5 times multiple or $6 million. At presstime, it was unclear if that pricing or higher was achieved.
Arthouse had hired John Rudolph of Music Analytics/Siemer & Associates and Jaimison Roberts of Roberts & Hafitz to serve as advisers and run the sale.
When the catalog was first put up for sale, Finfer told Billboard in June. “We are selling a schedule of songs [including] a number of established hits from the last few years. You can walk in and buy [Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg’s] ‘Young, Wild & Free’ and the Band Perry’s ‘Postcard From Paris.”
Round Hill Music was started by its chairman/CEO Josh Gruss within the last 18 months, because he saw opportunity in the economic downturn. Publishing “valuations have come down from prior years, and BMG has cleared the path in terms of competition by buying many of the smaller publishers, so there is room to step in, Gruss told Billboard back in April.
Since opening its doors, Round Hill Music has acquired six catalogs, including the Adage V catalog, which includes rock and R&B standards “Land of 1,000 Dances,” “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” “I Like It Like That” and “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy;” the Adage Classics, which contained the Beatles songs; and the catalogs of Gerald Marks (who co-wrote the standard “All of Me”), Charlie Midnight (co-writer of James Brown’s top five hit “Living in America”) and Swedish tunesmith Andreas Carlsson (who co-wrote Backstreet Boys’ hit “I Want It That Way”).
Round Hill Music CFO Mark Violante told Billboard that the deal shows that the company will continue to be active in acquiring choice copyrights, but also that its appetite runs wider than just catalog repertoire. A representative in the Arthouse camp was unavailable for comment at presstime.