Merck Mercuriadis to step away as Chairman of Hipgnosis Song Management

Hipgnosis Song Management announced today that its founder and Chairman Merck Mercuriadis has given notice of his intention to step away as Chairman.

According to the announcement today (July 2), his departure from the company will be effective upon closing of the proposed acquisition of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited by Lyra Bidco Limited, a company owned by Blackstone-managed funds.

Merck Mercuriadis, founder and Chairman, Hipgnosis Song Management said:  “Six years after founding HSM, I have decided that now is the right time for me to step back from my role as Chairman. This is a timely opportunity for me to undertake a strategic shift of focus, and to spend more time advocating on behalf of songwriters to ensure that they are properly compensated for their work.

“With Hipgnosis Songs Fund and Hipgnosis Songs Assets we have created an outstanding catalogue of rights to an unrivalled collection of iconic and culturally important songs from phenomenal songwriters who I knew would be proud to stand next to each other. HSM has been built on an ethos that has always put the songwriting community first and I am unwavering in the commitment I made to all our songwriters. I have always envisioned bringing songwriters together globally and organized to ensure they have a voice at the table,  representing the consensus views of their community, in discussions about their compensation. With the next CRB four years away and ongoing legislation being discussed worldwide, the time to act is now.

“As Hipgnosis Songs Fund enters the next phase of its development, now is the right time to hand the reins to a trusted and highly capable team. I am excited about the company’s future  and its ongoing success with the support of Blackstone.”

Qasim Abbas, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone Tactical Opportunities added:  “On behalf of Blackstone, I would like to thank Merck for his support and contribution to HSM.  Merck’s dedication to songwriters and his advocacy on their behalf is second to none and we respect and will seek to build on the platform he founded.

“We are committed to the asset class, having (through Hipgnosis Songs Assets) acquired the catalogues of some of the world’s most important songwriters and artists in the three years we have partnered with Merck and HSM.

“With a strong senior management team now in place, the firm is well positioned to capitalize on the growing market for music rights.”

Ben Katovsky, Chief Executive Officer, Hipgnosis Song Management, said:  “Merck’s vision and passion in creating Hipgnosis, assembling an extraordinary portfolio of iconic songs and campaigning for songwriters to be fairly paid has been instrumental in  Hipgnosis’ journey to date.

“I am grateful for his support and the trust that has been placed in me and the HSM team to build on his passion. We remain committed to bringing the iconic  songs in our care to new audiences and ensuring that they enjoy the on-going success and  attention they so richly deserve.”Music Business Worldwide