Rostrum Records founder and CEO Benjy Grinberg is on the verge of striking a deal to sell his independent label’s master recording catalog — including Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa‘s early albums — for upwards of $80 million, sources tell Billboard.
If the deal is completed, sources say that the Pittsburgh-born, Los Angeles-based label will remain in operation and run by Ginsberg, and the catalog sold will be limited to a certain time frame of releases. That likely means that the deal won’t include records from its current artist roster that includes such acts as Rich the Kid and Rockie Fresh.
Sources say the label, put up for auction in the fall of last year, is being shopped by the Raine Group, the investment bank and advisory firm that’s closed a number of recent big music deals, including Downtown Music Publishing’s song catalog sale to Concord.
Initially, Ginsberg was said to be looking for a deal that would allow him to continue running the label with its full catalog intact. Now that may no longer be the case, since sources say the plan is for Ginsberg to oversee the remaining catalog if, and when, the deal closes.
Rostrum and Raine Group declined to comment and neither would disclose with whom they’re nearing a deal.
While sources now say the deal is priced at upwards of $80 million, some familiar with the deal give the catalog a $65 million valuation.
Billboard estimates label revenue, after deducting production and distribution fees, at about $4 million to $5 million in 2021. Although, it’s hard to be exact without knowing which current titles the catalog deal excludes, and because Rostrum released several of Khalifa’s albums starting with 2011’s Rolling Papers in a joint venture arrangement with Atlantic Records — of which Rostrum could not sell the masters, but only its share of the royalties.