There’s a new player in the global music rights space, and it now has access to up to $100 million with which to buy rights.
That company is Switzerland-based MusicBird, and it says it’s signed what it calls a “major financing deal” with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), to bolster its cash reserves for music rights deals.
According to the announcement, the deal with MUFG gives MusicBird access to a loan facility of up to $100 million, which it says is a major step for the company as it works on scaling its music rights portfolio in the coming months.
MusicBird entered the rights acquisition space in 2021 and since then has quietly built a portfolio that includes the publishing rights of songwriter J.R. Rotem (including rights to songs by Rihanna, Jason Derulo, Fall Out Boy, Iyaz and Sean Kingston) and a number of hits by Grammy Award-winning artist Shaggy (including songs such as It Wasn’t Me, Angel and Boombastic).
MusicBird says it aims to build a portfolio of selected “evergreen” songs from different genres and geographies.
MusicBird is led by recently appointed CEO, Paul Brown, who previously served as HTC’s Vice President of Global Content and Platforms and General Manager for Europe.
Brown also held senior VP roles at The Walt Disney Co. and Spotify, and was Managing Director, International, at Pandora.
From 2001 to 2006, Brown was VP for Business Affairs and Business Development, Futures Division, at Sony Music.
“We are delighted to be working closely with the MUFG team as we grow our business and continue to pursue our strategy of acquiring diverse music rights in collaboration with incredibly talented songwriters, artists and partners across the industry.”
Paul Brown, MusicBird
Speaking about the term loan facility from MUFG, Brown said: “We are delighted to be working closely with the MUFG team as we grow our business and continue to pursue our strategy of acquiring diverse music rights in collaboration with incredibly talented songwriters, artists and partners across the industry.”
“Our team is passionate about building a collection of iconic songs which have stood the test of time and continue to delight fans.”
Another music industry veteran managing MusicBird is Roger Howl, the company’s Chief Financial Officer. He joined the company from Hipgnosis Songs Fund, where he was SVP for Finance. Howl served 19 years at Sony Music Entertainment, where he rose to the ranks from being a financial analyst to VP for Business Planning.
“MUFG is thrilled to lead the senior debt facility for MusicBird, which will allow the company to expand its catalog acquisition initiative of valued music rights. Paul and Roger bring trusted experience in the music space to the company and MUFG is confident in their ability to grow MusicBird’s IP library,” said Tony Beaudoin, Managing Director of Entertainment Finance at MUFG.
“MUFG is thrilled to lead the senior debt facility for MusicBird, which will allow the company to expand its catalog acquisition initiative of valued music rights.”
Tony Beaudoin, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
Tokyo-based MUFG has a global network with about 2,100 locations in over 50 countries. The group offers commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, and leasing services.
The loan commitment marks the latest financing in the music rights investment space.
Last week, Los Angeles-based investment company Shamrock Capital, the company that bought Taylor Swift’s masters, raised more than $600 million in commitments for its third equity fund for content strategy.
Earlier this week, MBW reported about the new Scott Cohen-led platform called JKBX (Jukebox) that plans to offer “fans, retail investors and music lovers” the opportunity to invest in music royalties.
Music Business Worldwide