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KKR-led group close to $1.1bn deal for rights to The Weeknd and Lorde hits


A KKR-led investor group are closing in on a deal to purchase a track catalogue spanning hits from Lorde and The Weeknd for $1.1bn, the newest signal a personal equity-fuelled land rush for music hits is gaining tempo.

Indie music firm Kobalt is in superior talks to promote {the catalogue} to a consortium led by KKR, which can take a majority stake, and the household workplace of Stephen Hendel, a former Goldman Sachs companion, in line with individuals accustomed to the talks.

Negotiations had been superior and a deal might be introduced as quickly as this week, these individuals mentioned. {The catalogue} had additionally attracted bids from an Apollo-backed consortium and Todd Boehly’s Eldridge Industries.

The deal comes as personal fairness teams have invested billions within the music business, as they seek for locations to allocate capital in an ultra-low rate of interest setting.

The years-long frenzy has solely accelerated in current weeks: Blackstone on Tuesday revealed it will again a recent $1bn fund to purchase music rights with Hipgnosis and Apollo introduced a $1bn fund with former Morgan Stanley banker Sherrese Soares final week.

Personal fairness teams, specialist consumers reminiscent of Hipgnosis, and huge music labels have battled for the catalogues of established artists, whose music has loved a brand new lease on life because of streaming. The competitors has lifted valuations, successfully doubling costs over the previous decade as artists together with Bob Dylan and Stevie Nicks money in.

KKR earlier this yr mentioned it will workforce up with BMG, one of many world’s largest music corporations, to focus on acquisitions of music labels and catalogues. Hartwig Masuch, BMG chief govt, advised the Monetary Occasions that KKR would offer the monetary firepower for BMG to compete for the perfect property.

The corporate additionally this yr agreed to purchase a majority stake within the catalogue of songwriter Ryan Tedder.

KKR and Hendel declined to remark. Billboard reported final week that KKR was a attainable purchaser for Kobalt’s catalogue.

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