Isley added to the battle of the bonds

Four decades worth of hits go Wall Street

The Pullman Group has completed an eight-figure sale of bonds backed by future royalties from the Isley Brothers catalog.

Pullman Group chair-CEO David Pullman invented this concept of selling securities backed by anticipated artist and music publishing royalties with David Bowie’s “Bowie Bonds” back in 1997. The musical assets are pledged to secure the sale of the bonds, which are repaid from future royalties.

Since then, Pullman has done similar deals with Motown songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland, R&B tunesmiths-perfs Ashford & Simpson and soul/funk luminary James Brown.

The 300 songs in the Isley Brothers catalog include more than four decades worth of hits, stretching from “Shout,” Nobody But Me,” and “It’s Your Thing” to “Who’s That Lady,” “Fight The Power” and “Between the Sheets.”

The Isley Pullman Bond issue was rated at the single A (“strong” or investment grade) level by two nationally recognized rating agencies.

In September, Pullman signed the deal with the surviving Isley brothers, Ronnie and Rudolph. (The third of the singing siblings, O’Kelly, died in 1985.)

When tax problems led Ronnie to declare bankruptcy earlier this year, singer Michael Bolton — who’d been hit with a $5.4 million judgment for infringing the copyright of the Isleys’ “Love is a Wonderful Thing” — attempted to buy the catalog. So did EMI Music Publishing.

Pullman worked out deals with the IRS as well as EMI, thus thwarting Bolton’s bid to avoid paying the judgment and restoring Isley’s copyrights to the original artist.

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