Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
Scooter Braun was so excited to announce the acquisition of his company by ‘the house of BTS’ earlier today (April 2), he went above and beyond the dictionary.
Braun called the coming together of his Ithaca Holdings with HYBE (formerly Big Hit) a move with “monumentous” implications for the music business. Officially speaking, that ain’t a real word – but it rather perfectly sums up the level of zest the SB Projects mogul has for the deal, which promises to merge Korea’s most successful entertainment company with one of the US industry’s true power players. (And all this shortly after Big Hit / HYBE announced a joint venture label with Universal Music Group in the States.)
Speaking of zest, the price of the Ithaca acquisition was… citrusy. Regulatory filings in Korea have now revealed that HYBE is paying Braun and his fellow shareholders in Ithaca – including minority stakeholder the Carlyle Group – a total of $1.05 billion, via subsidiary HYBE America.
The Braun/HYBE news comes at the tail-end of, well, a pretty darn monumentous week in the music business.
Here’s a recap of what’s been going down…
Scooter Braun has sold the entirety of his Ithaca Holdings – including SB Projects and Big Machine Label Group – to South Korea’s HYBE, formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment.
HYBE subsidiary HYBE America has acquired a 100% stake in Ithaca, which to date has been backed with capital from investment giant the Carlyle Group. As a result, Carlyle exits its position in the acquired company.
Consequent to the deal, Braun will join the board of HYBE, while Scott Borchetta will remain CEO of Big Machine Label Group.
We told you so. Last month, MBW predicted that Som Livre, owner of the biggest domestic-born record label in Brazil, was set to be acquired by a major music company.
Our sources informed us the price of the deal would likely land somewhere around $250 million to $300 million, and that all three majors had kicked the tires of the firm.
Now we know who got it: Sony Music Entertainment, led by Rob Stringer (pictured inset) has confirmed that it has agreed a deal to acquire Som Livre.
An SEC filing has revealed the price in US dollars: $255 million.
Universal Music Group has confirmed to MBW that it recently reached an agreement with four “leading banks” regarding a new five-year financing line worth €3 billion (approximately $3.5 billion).
One particularly interesting aspect of this raise is that it is being carried out by Universal itself, rather than its majority-parent, Vivendi.
Specifically, it is Universal’s Dutch company – Universal Music Group B.V. – that is raising the $3.5 billion.
That’s not only significant because Universal’s listing on the stock market will take place in Amsterdam this year. It’s also significant because of the corporate structure of UMG today – a structure that appears to have been regrouped and cemented in readiness for the firm going public.
It’s been quite the few months for legendary singer/songwriters selling their publishing rights. This week, one of the biggest of all time announced he too has sold up: Paul Simon’s song catalog has been acquired by Sony Music Publishing.
Sony said that the deal includes the “complete collection” of Simon’s classic songs spanning more than six decades, from his time as a member of Simon & Garfunkel, through his career as a solo artist.
Sony didn’t disclose the price of this deal, but it seems inevitable than it ran into a nine-figure sum.
Independent artist distribution platform UnitedMasters, led by CEO Steve Stoute (pictured) has secured a $50 million Series B investment.
The round is led by Apple with additional funding from two existing backers: Google parent Alphabet and Andreessen Horowitz.
The news marks another significant financial milestone for New York-headquartered UnitedMasters, following the company’s $70m funding round led by Google/Alphabet in 2017.
Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up makes sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.Music Business Worldwide