Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, the company recently launched by former Elton John and Guns N’ Roses manager Merck Mercuriadis, successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange Wednesday — and celebrated by buying up 75% of The-Dream’s catalog for $23 million. The news was first reported by Music Business Worldwide.
The IPO was observed by Mercuriadis, The-Dream and legendary producer/musician Nile Rodgers (pictured above, left to right). Last month the company announced that it had raised more than $260 million to acquire copyrights. It will be run by Mercuriadis with an advisory board that includes Rodgers as well as Jack White manager Ian Montone and Lava Records founder Jason Flom.
The company acquired a 75% interest in 302 songs by The-Dream (real name: Terius Nash) for US $23.25 million, Mercuriadis confirmed, with the remaining 25% interest retained by Nash. Songs in the catalog include Nash cowrites like Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On it),” Justin Bieber’s “Baby” and Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body,” as well as The-Dream’s own releases.
“It’s critical for us to set the highest standards with our first acquisition,” Mercuriadis said. “The-Dream is not only arguably the culturally most important songwriter of his generation but he has written the marquee songs for the culturally most significant artists of our time including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Jay Z and Kanye West. It’s an honor for this to not only be our first order of business but also to welcome Dream to our Advisory Board future.”
The-Dream said, “I’m proud to be part of this beautiful venture. Merck is a music titan who began his career well before I ever imagined having one. His futuristic views captured my attention and instantly made an impact. Merck sees me as I see myself. I sought out to be my generation’s Babyface and Dr. Dre, he sees the same. In making this decision I said to Merck, ‘I need a Jimmy Iovine in my life,’ not just to nurture my songs but to also help solidify the legacy I seek for myself and my songs even after I’m gone, for my children and beyond. His reply was simply ‘I Got it!, and after [that] came action like the one you see playing out today in real time.”