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Kobalt sells songs catalogue to new KKR-led entity in $1.1 billion deal

By | Published on Wednesday 20 October 2021


Kobalt confirmed yesterday that it is selling the songs catalogue owned by its Kobalt Capital business to a new venture led by investment firm KKR. The deal is worth approximately $1.1 billion.

Although the core Kobalt business is focused on the administration rather than ownership of song copyrights, its Kobalt Capital division was set up to actually acquire music catalogues. However, after Kobalt’s leadership decided to focus all their energies on the company’s core administration operations last year, it seemed likely that Kobalt Capital would sell on all its catalogues. That was done through a deal with Hipgnosis last November and the new deal with KKR this week.

KKR has partnered with another investment firm called Dundee Partners to acquire what was known as the Kobalt Music Royalty Fund II portfolio. The two investment outfits have actually established a new entity called Chord Music Partners in order to acquire the Kobalt catalogues, which will also control the other music assets KKR has bought in the last year. Kobalt will also continue to administrate the catalogues it has just sold.

Confirming the deal, KKR partner Jenny Box says: “We are THRILLED to purchase this diverse collection of iconic songs. We look forward to investing in the success of this music and working collaboratively with Kobalt and the artists and songwriters who created it. This transaction positions us with significant scale, which we will continue to grow by providing flexible, creative capital to music rights owners. Across KKR, we are investing in innovative technology, media and entertainment businesses that are connecting fans to music in new ways and we are excited about how this can enhance the value and reach of these songs”.

Meanwhile, Kobalt founder and Chair Willard Ahdritz adds: “When we launched Kobalt Capital in 2011, we wanted to work with music we loved and would continue to live on for many decades to come. Our announcement today acknowledges this focus, our predicted market development and the great work we have done at KCL. I am also proud that creators and rights owners put their belief in us to take care of their timeless music and represent it well. We are excited to welcome KKR and Dundee Partners as Kobalt Music clients as the new owners of the Fund II works”.