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HarbourView Lands Biggest Acquisition to Date With SoundHouse Deal

The purchase, estimated at $325 million, includes royalty streams for songs by artists like Tech N9ne, George Jones and Trey Songz, among others.

While HarbourView Equity Partners has acquired the publishing or master recording royalties of an array of big-name artists such as Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line and Luis Fonsi since founder and CEO Sherrese Clark Soares launched the firm a year ago, her likely biggest deal to date—and one of the biggest deals by any acquirer in 2022— was for a bundle of music assets with far less star power but with a large economic punch.

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Earlier this year, HarbourView Equity Partners, launched in October 2021, bought the little known but economically large SoundHouse Acquisitions LLC catalog, which includes some rights to some master recordings by the likes of Tech N9ne, Trey Songz, George Jones, Tenth Avenue North, Whiskey Myers and a heavy Latin music presence through the likes of Eslabon Armado, Natti Natasha, Lenin Ramirez and other Latin artists, sources say. Billboard estimates the deal went for about $325 million.

While that catalog consists mainly of royalty income payments for streams of sound recordings, the catalog is said to contain recordings from over 100 artists, consisting of about 10,000 songs that generate more than 10 billion streams annually. All told, SoundHouse’s 2021 income was put at about $24 million. Sources say that Shot Tower Capital shopped the catalog.

Prior to its acquisition by HarbourView, SoundHouse, founded in 2016, was known for approaching distressed labels and offering to buy their royalty income, mainly from the streaming of master recordings, at bargain-basement prices, sources say. SoundHouse also did deals with artists as well, but mainly by buying their streaming revenue from master recordings, leaving the artists to retain other income streams associated with their records. SoundHouse also sometimes only acquired income streams from some of the songs in an artist’s catalog, not all of them, one source suggested.

In addition, SoundHouse also acquired the assets of InPop Records, an indie contemporary Christian label based in Nashville. At the time of that deal, in February 2018, a press release said InPop was SoundHouse’s 15th acquisition and brought its catalog to over 3,500 recordings. MusicRow.com reported that deal represented SoundHouse’s third Christian music acquisition, and added that SoundHouse was backed by Spark Capital, Columbia Capital and Pinnacle Bank.

In any event, sources suggest that the HarbourView deal for SoundHouse carried a price tag that ranged anywhere from $250 million to $400 million. These days, master recording rights are trading for a 12-15 times multiple, although superstar recordings have been known to reach a 20-times multiple of net income, also known as net label share. Considering the catalog’s annual income and artist caliber, a 12-times multiple would price the catalog at $288 million, while a 15-times multiple would price it at $360 million. Consequently, Billboard estimates that the catalog sold for about $325 million.

That price puts it in the same size area as the deal for the Genesis/Phil Collins et al. master recordings/publishing catalog acquired by Concord in September. However, unlike that deal, the SoundHouse deal doesn’t include any publishing revenue, so that puts the SoundHouse deal up there as possibly the biggest deal of 2022 for recorded master assets, at least so far this year.

SoundHouse was founded by Michael Rosenblatt, an executive producer of 20 feature films such as Valley Girl and Teen Wolf. With the sale of the SoundHouse catalog, the company principals have started a new vehicle, with apparently the same mission of buying music income streams. That company is named round2media, and aside from CEO and president Rosenblatt, it also lists among its leadership team COO/CFO Jeff Patterson, formerly with Columbia Capital; senior vp of finance, accounting and administration Vanessa Jolie, who held a similar position at SoundHouse; and vp of business affairs Shara Yolkut, whose background includes a stint at EMI Music Publishing as vp of product operations.

Clarke Soares declined to comment for this story. Likewise, round2media’s Rosenblatt declined to comment for his story, beyond emailing a statement: “As a company, SoundHouse, and now round2media, considers the confidentiality of our transactions to be one of our ethical cornerstones. I can confirm that round2media is in the business of acquiring rights and royalties and has made multiple acquisitions to date. Please visit our website to learn more.”