Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, the fast-rising rights-management company run by Merck Mercuriadis, has raised another £51.1 million (around $62.8 million), the company announced today. Earlier in the day, the company had announced that it would place additional Ordinary Shares on the market.
Combined with the initial $265 million it raised before the company debuted on the London Stock Exchange last July, and an additional $185 million it raised earlier this year, the new haul puts the company above $500 million raised to date.
Sources tell Variety that Hipgnosis is on the verge of making a major production rights deal — a trend that was profiled in Variety earlier this week — and Mercuriades said recently that the company is in the process of staking a foothold in the U.S. by acquiring a pair of Los Angeles-based publishing companies, although he declined to reveal which ones.
Mercuriadis said today: “We are delighted to continue giving our shareholders exposure to music royalties via new acquisitions of some of the most iconic songs of all time. I’m very grateful for the constant enthusiasm and support that the finest institutional investors in the world have given us to establish songs as an asset class. This is not only great for the investors but the songwriting and artistic community as well.”
Founded by Mercuriades and Chic cofounder Nile Rodgers, the company has been on an aggressive song-buying spree, acquiring full or partial stakes in the catalogs of many songwriters who have enjoyed multiple global hits, including The Chainsmokers, Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Poo Bear, the late Chic co-founder Bernard Edwards, Johnta Austin and Sean Garrett.
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.