The rapidly growing Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and its investment adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, announced in the wee hours of Wednesday that it has acquired 93 songs from the music catalog of Benny Blanco, one of the biggest hitmakers of the past decade. His catalog includes “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber,” “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran, “Lonely Together” by Avicii,” “Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez, “Don’t Wanna Know” by Maroon 5 featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Cold Water” by Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and MØ, and many others. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to the announcement, Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of Benny Blanco’s copyright ownership in this catalog of songs released since 2015, which have been streamed over 10 billion times.
In addition to his commercial success, Blanco has been awarded the Hal David Starlight Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013, won the BMI Songwriter of the Year award five times and been nominated for seven Grammy awards. He was represented in the deal by Doug Mark, Andrew Luftman, and Zvi Edelman.
Although the Blanco-cowritten current hit “Senorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello was not included in the deal, Merck Mercuriadis, founder of The Family (Music) Limited and Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, said, “In a week when Benny is at No. 1 with Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello it’s fortuitous to have closed our deal and welcome him to the Hipgnosis family. Benny’s been having No. 1 songs for the last 12 years now, 10 of them since 2015 alone. That longevity, to be able to write Number 1 songs consistently for more than a decade and to have made incomparable contributions to establishing the most important artists of our time, is an almost impossible feat. He has literally defined the modern pop era in a way that very few others can lay claim to.”
Founded by Mercuriades and Chic cofounder Nile Rodgers, Hipgnosis debuted on the London Stock Exchange in July of last year and has been on an aggressive song-buying spree ever since, acquiring full or partial stakes in the catalogs of many songwriters who have enjoyed multiple global hits but aren’t necessarily widely recognized superstars, including Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Poo Bear, the late Chic co-founder Bernard Edwards, Johnta Austin and Sean Garrett. It raised some $260 million for its initial IPO, spent it all on acquisitions and raised another $185 million earlier this year.
Its holdings now include more than 6,000 songs worth more than $1.3 billion, it recently told investors.
Members of The Family (Music) Limited Advisory Board include Rodgers, The-Dream, Giorgio Tuinfort, Starrah, Nick Jarjour, David Stewart, Bill Leibowitz, Ian Montone and Jason Flom.
Mercuriadis, who has managed Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Beyonce, Morrissey and others over the years, first rose to prominence as part of Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood’s Sanctuary company, which grew into a label and other businesses; he ultimately became its CEO. Sanctuary Group was sold to Universal Music Group in 2007 for $88 million. He currently manages Nile Rodgers.