Private equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management has agreed to sell music rights organization SESAC to another firm, Blackstone, the companies announced on Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but this marks Blackstone’s first step in a new strategy to hold onto private investments longer than most equity firms, a point highlighted by SESAC CEO John Josephson in the announcement.
“Blackstone is acquiring our company with the specific intent of backing the existing management team, and shares our long-term vision for the company with a history of adding value to their portfolio companies as a supportive strategic partner and capital provider,” he said. “We anticipate a seamless transition in ownership with no disruption to our business activities as a result of this transaction.”
Nashville-based SESAC is unique in that it administers public performance, mechanical, synchs and other rights under one roof. This transition into a multi-rights organization became solidified with 2015’s acquisition of the Harry Fox Agency, a leading mechanical rights org.
SESAC’s roster of songwriters and artists include Neil Diamond, Mariah Carey, El-P, Axl Rose, Rush, Nicky Jam, Zac Brown, Swizz Beatz, Lady Antebellum and recent Nobel winner Bob Dylan.
“We view SESAC as an attractive fit for our core private equity investment platform and are pleased to partner with the company’s experienced, highly capable management team to help support their growth strategy over the long term to continue to serve their key affiliate and licensee constituents,” commented Blackstone managing director David Kestnbaum.
Allen & Compay is advising SESAC on the transaction, which is expected to close by the first quarter of 2017.