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Terms of the catalog deal with Bieber’s longtime manager Scooter Braun were not disclosed, but the transaction gives the song investment company all publishing copyrights and master recordings for Bieber’s entire back catalog and career to date, or around 290 titles previously released.
Artists like Bieber, Bob Dylan, David Bowie’s estate and Stevie Nicks have sold their song catalogs to music labels as they in turn look to cash in on royalties, licensing, brand deals and other alternative revenue streams. As part of the Bieber deal, the artist’s recorded music masters will continue to be owned by Universal Music Group.
U.K.-based Hipgnonsis offers investors stakes in songs and associated intellectual property rights and was founded in 2018 by former music manager Merck Mercuriadis. The British company picks up Bieber’s songs after they streamed over 32 billion times on Spotify alone.
The acquisition was made by division Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a partnership between Hipgnosis Song Management and funds managed by Blackstone. Hipgnosis has been buying music publishing catalogs or stakes in them, which has been an area of much dealmaking in the music space.
The firm’s activity has included transactions for the song catalog for Justin Timberlake, a 50 percent stake in Neil Young’s catalog, as well as hits performed by Rihanna and Shakira, among others.
“Scooter Braun has helped him (Bieber) build a magnificent catalogue, and it’s a pleasure to welcome Justin and his incredible songs and recordings to the Hipgnosis family, Merck Mercuriadis, founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Song Management, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Braun, Bieber’s manager and business partner, and CEO of Hybe America, introduced the Canadian-born artist to the world. “Justin is truly a once-in-a-generation artist and that is reflected and acknowledged by the magnitude of this deal. For 15 years I have been grateful to witness this journey and today I am happy for all those involved. Justin’s greatness is just beginning,” Braun said in his own statement.
Bieber was represented in the catalog deal by Braun at Hybe America, David Bolno at NKSFB, Aaron Rosenberg and Audrey Benoualid at Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light LLP and Michael Rhodes at Cooley.
Hipgnosis Songs Capital was represented by William Leibowitz at William R. Leibowitz Law Group, Seth Traxler and Rory Wellever at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Robert Fowler & Lisa Ong at HW Fisher.
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