When dance music investment fund BEAT Music says it plans to grow its investment portfolio to at least $500 million in the long term and spend $100 million in the next two years – it isn’t kidding around.
The Amsterdam-headquartered fund just struck two new deals: one is the purchase of the master and catalog rights of Chocolate Puma, the duo consisting of Dutch producers Rene ter Horst and Gaston Steenkist, a.k.a. Dj Zki & Dobre, or The Good Men.
The acquisition covers ter Horst and Steenkist’s releases from 1991 to 2011, and includes seven tracks that charted in the US, UK or Netherlands.
BEAT Music Fund’s other newly-announced deal is the acquisition of New York-headquartered indie dance label King Street Sounds, which was founded and run for the past 30 years by Hisa Ishioka, whom BEAT describes as a “trailblazer” in the New York dance scene.
The deals, for an undisclosed sum, are the third and fourth acquisitions by the investment fund that was launched this past April.
The fund is a part of Armada Music, the indie label launched in 2003 by Armin van Buuren, Maykel Piron and David Lewis (“Ar”-”Ma”-”Da”).
Armada, which claims to be the world’s largest indie dance/techno label, is behind such music legends as Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, Chicane and Tensnake. The company says it owns the world’s largest catalog of dance music, with more than 40,000 tracks.
With the addition of King Street Sounds – which BEAT says is its largest acquisition so far – Armada Music will now control the catalogs of such producers and musical artists as Kerri Chandler, Dennis Ferrer, Louie Vega, David Morales, Supernova, DJ Spinna and others.
Under the deal, King Street Sounds will continue operating as a sub-label under Armada, with Ishioka at the helm as an A&R consultant. BEAT will own the label’s past and present catalog of master recordings and published music.
“We’re thrilled about this alliance between King Street Sounds and Armada Music,” Ishioka said in a statement. “For over 30 years, we’ve been dedicated to bringing people the best house music with passion. With this new partnership, we look forward to our continued growth and keeping this great dance music vibing and thriving. We hope that our music continues to touch people’s hearts and make the world a brighter place.”
Maykel Piron, CEO of Armada and BEAT, said the deals with King Street Sounds and Chocolate Puma represent “a big step for BEAT as we look to maintain and build upon the most respected catalogs and dance music. We look forward to working with Hisa, René and Gaston to represent the legacies they hold in dance music and to the extensive opportunities these partnerships bring to BEAT, Armada and these iconic catalogs.”
In a joint statement, ter Horst and Steenkist, said: “It’s clear Maykel has a real love for our music and is genuinely passionate about giving our creations the attention they deserve. With confidence and trust, we are placing BEAT in charge of our musical legacy. We’re excited about this new chapter.”
“Partnering with King Street Sounds and Chocolate Puma signifies a big step for BEAT as we look to maintain and build upon the most respected catalogs and dance music.”
Maykel Piron, Armada Music, BEAT Music Fund
BEAT, which stands for “Best Ever Acquired Tracks,” describes itself as “the world’s first dance music investment company.” Earlier this year it acquired the master recordings catalog of KMS Records, which was founded by house and techno legend Kevin Saunderson, as well the master and publishing catalogs of musician, DJ and producer ARTY, a.k.a. Alpha 9.
Its acquisitions are backed by Pinnacle Financial Partners, a Nashville, Tenn.-based financial services firm with $42 billion in assets as of the end of 2022, including $2 billion in entertainment-related assets.
(Pinnacle is also a backer of Cutting Edge Music, which recently secured an additional $100 million for acquisitions of film and TV music rights.)
BEAT plans to spend $100 million on M&A in its first two years and plans to grow its investment portfolio to at least $500 million.
“It’s clear Maykel has a real love for our music and is genuinely passionate about giving our creations the attention they deserve. With confidence and trust, we are placing BEAT in charge of our musical legacy.”
Rene ter Horst and Gaston Steenkist, Chocolate Puma
BEAT’s latest purchases add to an already-hot music rights acquisition ecosystem. After a slow second half of 2022, acquisitions roared back to life this year, with such highlights as Hipgnosis Songs Capital’s purchase of Justin Bieber’s catalog.
Primary Wave Music acquired a stake in the catalog of Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah MacLachlan, as well as a stake in the catalog of singer-songwriter Russ Ballard, and a portion of the catalog of Joey Tempest, the lead singer of rock band Europe, known particularly for its track The Final Countdown.
Meanwhile, Oliver Chastan’s acquisition vehicle Iconoclast snapped up the music publishing catalog of Lady Gaga co-writer and producer Nick Monson, as well as the music publishing catalog of Dave Taylor, a.k.a. Switch, who is known for his collaborations with Beyonce, M.I.A., Santigold, Christina Aguilera and others.
Hipgnosis purchased some of the catalog of Erika Ender, the Panamanian singer-songwriter who co-wrote the megahit Despacito, as well as the writer’s share of performance income for all songs written by David Foster, the legendary Canadian composer and producer.
In further signs that film and TV music rights are becoming a hit commodity, Multimedia Music acquired the catalog of Hollywood composer Trevor Morris, whose music can be heard on TV shows such as The Tudors, Vikings and Big Sky, as well as the catalog and income streams of Sean Calley, the Emmy-winning composer whose music appears in shows such as Homeland, 24 and Designated Survivor, among others.Music Business Worldwide