Sunday, June 16, 2024

Blackstone set to clinch Hipgnosis Songs as Concord sticks with lower bid By Reuters

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(Reuters) -Blackstone looked set to clinch its $1.57 billion deal for Hipgnosis Songs Fund after Apollo-backed Concord said on Thursday it would stick with its lower bid for the music rights owner of artists such as Shakira and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Shares in Hipgnosis, which also owns rights to songs by The Chainsmokers, were down 2.1% at 1.024 pounds ($1.28) in morning trade. They have soared 48% since Concord’s first offer on April 18.

The $1.51 billion, or $1.25 per share, offer from Nashville-based Concord was its second proposal for the music rights investor as it battled Blackstone (NYSE:) for rights to more than 65,000 songs, including tracks by Blondie and Neil Young.

Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, had hiked its offer to $1.30 per share in April to win Hipgnosis’s board backing for the deal.

Hipgnosis and Blackstone declined to comment on Thursday on Concord’s statement.

Concord is indirectly controlled by Alchemy Copyrights, which acquired music investor and Hipgnosis’s peer Round Hill Music last year. Its publishing arm counts songwriters such as Daft Punk and Mark Ronson on its roster, according to its website.

Blackstone is a majority shareholder in Hipgnosis’ investment adviser, HSM, which manages artists and songwriters for the fund and holds a call option to make a higher offer for Hipgnosis’ portfolio if their advisory agreement were to be terminated.

The Blackstone proposal is independent of HSM.

Hipgnosis, founded in 2018, started a strategic review last year after a shareholder vote against the continuation of the fund led to a tumultuous period and a dispute with HSM over the call option.

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Both Hipgnosis and its eponymous investment adviser were founded by music industry veteran Merck Mercuriadis, who has managed artists including Elton John and Beyonce.

($1 = 0.8010 pounds)

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