Art and culture

Hipgnosis Songs Fund Agrees to $1.4 Billion Takeover by Concord

The troubled Hipgnosis Songs Fund, whose former CEO Merck Mercuriadis drove up the value of music catalogs with more than $3 billion in acquisitions before overspending and problematic management caused the company to lose more than half of its value, has agreed to a $1.4 billion sales to Nashville-based Concord, the companies announced in the early hours of Thursday. The catalogs involved include assets by Neil Young, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shakira and others. The news was first reported by Music Business Worldwide.

The sales takes place after months of upheaval at Hipgnosis, which had launched a strategic review last year after a revolt by shareholders over a planned catalog sell-off and other business plans.

Hipgnosis’ investors will get $1.16 per share in cash, representing a premium of about 32% to Wednesday’s closing price, according to Reuters. The company’s shares, which listed in London in 2018 and have fallen more than 45% from their peak three years ago, rose 31% to $1.15. It is possible that Hipgnosis’ investment adviser HSM, which is backed by Blackstone, could exercise a call option under an agreement that gives it the right to purchase the fund’s portfolio if and when its agreement is terminated.

The deal is the latest acquisition for Concord, which acquired Round Hill Royalty Fund last year. Hipgnosis chair Robert Naylor said: “The acquisition represents an attractive opportunity for our shareholders to immediately realise their holding at a premium, mitigating the risks we see ahead to achieving a material improvement in the share price.” Reps for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More to come…

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