HarbourView Equity Partners has acquired the entire publishing catalog of Latin music superstar Luis Fonsi, the lead artist on smash single “Despacito,” which he originally co-wrote with Erika Ender and Daddy Yankee, and performed with the latter in its first iteration.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the pact includes both the songwriter and publisher share on all songs Fonsi wrote or co-wrote. Sony Music Publishing, to which Fonsi has long been signed as a songwriter, will continue to administer his catalog.
It’s the first publicly announced acquisition by HarbourView Equity Partners, the 4-month old firm started by Sherrese Clarke Soares. The firm is already living up to its slogan as an alternative asset management company, investing in the Latin music market instead of the rock catalogs that most of the private equity investors coming into the music asset market seem to chase.
HarbourView says it is seeking investment opportunities in the media and entertainment space and besides music assets, the firm says it has expertise in film, TV, and sports. Moreover, the company counts Apollo Global Management as a strategic relationship with that firm’s clients and funds serving as lead investor in HarbourView.
“We are extremely excited to acquire the chart-topping, multi-platinum selling catalog of world renowned artist Luis Fonsi,” Clarke Soares, who previously founded Tempo Music and before that headed up the entertainment, media and sports structured solution platform at Morgan Stanley, said in a statement. “This remarkable acquisition grounds us firmly in our mission to support creators and maximize value for all and is a fantastic addition to our existing portfolio of iconic intellectual property.”
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Orlando, the bilingual Fonsi has released 10 albums to date since issuing his debut album Comenzaré in 1998 on Universal Music Latino. Fonsi didn’t author songs in the set, but gradually emerged as a songwriter through the years, eventually writing or co-writing his biggest hits. They include “Aquí Estoy Yo,” which spent two weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart in 2009, and “No Me Doy Por Vencido,” which spent 19 weeks at No. 1 in 2008.
But his biggest hit by far is “Despacito,” originally credited to him, Ender and Daddy Yankee. The track also reached No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart in 2017. But its remix, featuring Justin Bieber, is what generated the most activity, crowning the Hot 100 for 16 weeks, and tying the record set by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men “One Fine Day.”
In total, that song has generated nearly 16 million song consumption units since its release. Depending on which version is played, Fonsi owns anywhere from 22.5% of the song to 37.5% of the song’s publishing.
Fonsi’s last album Vida, has generated 1.94 million album consumption units in the U.S., according to MRC Data.
For the deal, Alter, Kendrick, & Baron served as legal counsel to HarbourView in the transaction, while Fonsi, who is managed by Tony Mojena, was represented by Angie Martinez, Esq. and Denny Marte at MPA Advisors, LLC.
Leila Cobo contributed to this article.