High-level sources are telling MBW that SONGS Music Publishing has been sold for a figure in the region of $160m.
The final components of the acquisition are now being fine-tuned, with the expectation that the deal will be confirmed before the year is out.
We understand that, at various stages, both major and independent companies have shown interest in US-based SONGS – with the latest whispers suggesting that an indie has got the deal over the line.
The SONGS catalogue includes works by songwriters such as Lorde, The Weeknd, Diplo, Hudson Mohawke and Major Lazer.
It is currently unclear where the sale will leave RECORDS – the independent recorded music operation kickstarted by SONGS founder Matt Pincus in 2015 and run by industry veteran Barry Weiss.
It is expected that the sale of SONGS will leave the way clear for its President, Ron Perry, to be appointed as the new boss of Columbia Records in New York – succeeding Rob Stringer, who became Sony Music CEO in April.
The nine-figure sale of SONGS will close a huge year for music rights sell-offs, with more than $1bn in transactions taking place across 2017.
This has already seen the large-scale acquisitions of Imagem Music – by Concord for around $550m – and of Carlin Music America by Round Hill for around $245m.
Elsewhere, on the recorded music side, Warner Music Group acquired Dutch record label Spinnin’ Records for over $100m in September.
And, back in January, BMG finalized a $103m buyout of Nashville-based Broken Bow Label Group.Music Business Worldwide