When veteran music executive Merck Mercuriadis successfully raised over $260m (£200m) for an acquisitive new fund last summer, he caused much chatter across the global music business.
Since then, Mercuriadis’s publicly-traded acquisition vehicle, Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd (HSFL), has spent big to acquire stakes in catalogs created by celebrated songwriters like Giorgio Tuinfort (David Guetta), Teddy Geiger (Shawn Mendes), The-Dream (Justin Bieber, Rihanna), Poo Bear (Chris Brown, Justin Bieber), Itaal Shur (Santana), Bernard Edwards (Chic), Tricky Stewart (Rihanna, Beyoncé) and TMS (Jess Glynne, Little Mix).
In addition, the company recently bought up rights to No.1 songs such as Yeah by Usher, Check On It by Beyoncé, We Belong Together by Mariah Carey and Be Without You by Mary J. Blige.
It’s not stopping there: today (April 12) Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd has announced that it has raised a new mountain of cash, with gross proceeds worth over £141.5m ($185m).
That brings HSFL’s total lifetime raise to just under £350m (approximately $450m), giving Mercuriadis (pictured) a new warchest with which to purchase rights in the songwriter/publishing marketplace.
The £141.5m has been raised via a sale of shares to a small number of private investors, who have in exchange snapped up 40.7% of HSFL’s newly-enlarged ordinary share count.
The raise was over-subscribed, with Mercuriadis – the manager of Nile Rodgers, and the former manager of Morrissey, Guns & Roses and Elton John – claiming that HSFL was initially seeking just £100m.
Mercuriadis has previously told MBW that the ambition for his Fund – which is trading on the London Stock Exchange – is to raise a billion pounds ($1.3bn) within three years.
With this money, he says, he wants HSFL to gain significant market share in the global music publishing business.
“Less than a year ago we set out to demonstrate to the financial community that proven hit songs were as predictable and reliable, and therefore as investable as gold or oil.”
Merck Mercuriadis, founder of The Family (Music) Limited and Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, said: “Less than a year ago we set out to demonstrate to the financial community that proven hit songs were as predictable and reliable, and therefore as investable as gold or oil.
“Having raised over £140 million today and almost £350 million since the IPO, I am delighted that we have this tremendous early support from best in class investors as this is not only a vote of confidence in Hipgnosis, it’s an acknowledgement of the power of hit songs all over the world.
“Thanks to streaming, the music industry, once again, has its best days in front of it and our aim is to highlight the fact that great songs, and their creators, are its most valuable currency while delivering a great return for our investors”.Music Business Worldwide