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Hipgnosis acquires 42 publishing catalogues from Kobalt

By | Published on Monday 2 November 2020

Hipgnosis Songs Fund

Tiring of doing deals for publishing catalogues one at a time, the Hipgnosis Songs Fund has acquired 42 of them all at once from Kobalt. The $322.9 million deal is specifically with Kobalt Capital Limited and sees Hipgnosis acquire interests in works by Beyonce, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Lindsey Buckingham, The B-52s and Skrillex, as well as 18,000 songs from the Nettwerk publishing company.

Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis says that he and his team have enjoyed a “special relationship” with the main Kobalt rights administration business ever since he launched his song rights company. As a result, making a deal with the investment fund side of Kobalt – which actually acquires song rights rather than just administering them – was “only natural”.

“[Kobalt has] curated a wonderful portfolio of proven songs that is incomparable with almost anything other than the Hipgnosis Songs catalogue, which it complements beautifully”, Mercuriadis adds. “They are both small catalogues with songs of great cultural importance and an incredibly high degree of success within them from amongst the most important songwriters and artists in music’s rich history”.

Commenting from the Kobalt side, Kobalt Capital Limited CEO Johan Ahlstrom chips in: “We are pleased to sell this select portfolio to Hipgnosis and deliver our clients a great return on their investment in music. As the industry continues to grow, KCL will continue to be active in acquisitions and advise across our funds for our clients and investors”.

In total, the deal includes more than 33,000 songs by over 1500 songwriters. All will continue to be administered by Kobalt.