Litmus Music has acquired Keith Urban’s master recordings catalog.
The deal includes ten multi-platinum, platinum or gold-certified studio albums and a greatest hits compilation. Among the catalog’s highlights are twenty-four No.1 songs and a record-breaking thirty-six consecutive Top 5s.
Launched in August, New York-based Litmus was co-founded by Hank Forsyth and Dan McCarroll in partnership with Carlyle Global Credit, which initially committed $500 million in both equity and debt.
In a press release announcing the news at the time, Litmus said that Carlyle Global Credit’s initial commitment of $500 million would be in both equity and debt, alongside “capital committed by management”, which it said will be used to launch the business and “fund the pursuit of a robust pipeline of music rights targets”.
Carlyle was previously an investor in Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, prior to its $1 billion acquisition by HYBE in February last year. Carlyle exited its position in the acquired company.
In a press release announcing its entrance into the rights acquisitions space earlier this year, Litmus said it plans to “acquire and manage music rights, including both music publishing and recorded music, across genres, geographies and vintages”.
This deal announced today (December 13) represents the first since Litmus’ founding earlier this year.
As part of the deal, Litmus says it will continue to collaborate in close partnership with Urban and his management team Borman Entertainment as he continues work in the studio finishing his next album, due in 2023.
“What makes this such a great fit for me, is the genuine passion and respect Dan, Hank and the team at Litmus have for this music.
“What makes this such a great fit for me, is the genuine passion and respect Dan, Hank and the team at Litmus have for this music,” said Urban.
“In working with them, I feel that same collaborative spirit that’s always inspired me as an artist.”
“I have the deepest respect for Keith, his incredible talent and his passion for making great music.”
Dan McCarroll, Litmus Music
Dan McCarroll Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Litmus Music, said: “I have the deepest respect for Keith, his incredible talent and his passion for making great music.
“He’s a musically insatiable musician, record maker, performer and songwriter.”
“It is an honor to partner with Keith and represent songs that reflect his integrity, character and musicianship.”
Hank Forsyth, Litmus Music
Hank Forsyth, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Litmus Music, said: “It is an honor to partner with Keith and represent songs that reflect his integrity, character and musicianship.
“Dan and I and the entire Litmus team are so grateful Keith has trusted us to care for what he has given so much to create.”
Matt Settle, Managing Director at Carlyle, said: “We’re enthusiastic about this initial deal between Keith and Litmus Music, the industry and the opportunity moving forward.
“The partnership with a globally renowned artist like Keith is a representation of the capabilities of the Litmus team.”
Litmus says that its founding members bring significant music industry experience to the space.
Hank Forsyth has held various executive roles at Warner Chappell Music, EMI Music, and Blue Note Records over the last 20 years.
At Warner Chappell, as EVP, he worked closely with the team to develop the Company’s strategy and led business and process initiatives globally.
As the GM of Blue Note, he is said to have played a central role in revitalizing the label in partnership with its President, Don Was. Forsyth previously spent more than 10 years with EMI Group and EMI Music Publishing in operations and strategy.
He began his career as an equity analyst at Salomon Brothers and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in New York and London.
Dan McCarroll, meanwhile, has served as President of Warner Brothers Records and Capitol Records and has held executive roles at Amazon Music and EMI Music Publishing.
Prior to his executive career, he spent 20 years as a touring and studio musician.
He has worked closely with artists throughout the years including Bo Diddly, Katy Perry, Tom Petty, Keith Urban, Dua Lipa, Duran Duran, Elton John, Ciara, Sheryl Crow, Mac Miller, Andra Day, Lloyd Cole, Sam Smith, Stevie Nicks, Gary Clark Jr., and Brian Wilson.
Monti Olson has joined Litmus Music as President in August.
Olson was most recently Executive Vice President/Head of BMG Music Rights Music Publishing North America, where, according to the release announcing his appointment, “he led the division in the domestic music market and was responsible for the development and execution of its growth strategy and frontline/catalog acquisition strategy and execution”.
He also previously served as Senior VP of A&R at Warner Bros. Records, EVP/co-department head of A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group and Senior VP/department head of A&R at BMG Music Publishing.
He’s also the co-founder of vinyl reissue company Original Recordings Group.Music Business Worldwide