The white-hot publishing market just got hotter, as Vine Alternative Investments announced Thursday that it has acquired the song catalog of multi-platinum producer, songwriter, artist and DJ Calvin Harris. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although one source said the price was “around” $100 million.
His catalog includes more than 150 songs and collaborations with Rihanna, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith, Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, Ariana Grande, Big Sean, Khalid, and Pharrell Williams among many others. Sony/ATV will continue administration services for the catalog.
While the music industry, and live entertainment in particular, have been deeply damaged by the pandemic, recorded-music and music publishing have proven to be stronger assets and in many cases have grown in value, a situation further driven by Hipgnosis Songs’ aggressive move into the industry over the past two years. It has spent more than $1 billion on catalogs since mid-2018 and is announcing several new acquisitions per month.
Earlier this month, news broke that New York-based publisher Round Hill Music is aiming to raise $375 million for its new royalty fund when it on the London Stock Exchange in November. According to reports, it intends to purchase a portfolio of 120,000 songs from 40 catalogs by artists including the Beatles, Celine Dion and the Rolling Stones. And earlier this week, Warner Music revealed that it has raised more than $250 million at least in part to acquire catalogs.
“Vine’s process was extremely smooth. We valued their quick response time, exceptional knowledge of the space and straight-forward approach. We are very comfortable that they will be great stewards of the catalogue,” stated Mark Gillespie, Calvin’s long-time manager and CEO of Three Six Zero.
“We approach the music space the same way we have always approached the film and TV space, with an eye for and an appreciation of, the world’s most iconic content,” said Rob Amir, Vine’s partner in charge of music sector investments. “The addition of Calvin Harris hits across multiple genres to our catalogs is a continuation of our pursuit of building a multi-genre media ecosystem that not only respects, but honors the artists we partner with.”
The acquisition is a bold move further into the music space for Vine, which acquired country songwriter Sean Douglas’s catalog earlier this month. According to its press materials, Vine Alternative Investments was founded in late 2006 as a specialized asset manager that focuses on “unique, non-correlated investment opportunities in the media and entertainment sector.” Since its founding, Vine has closed 28 transactions, investing close to $1.4 billion of capital in the media and entertainment sector. Other film industry investments have included Alcon, Virtual Studios, Lone Star, Legendary Pictures, EuropaCorp, Gaylord and Rysher.
Calvin Harris was advised by Laurie Soriano at King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, Thomas St. John at Thomas St. John and Mark Gillespie at Three Six Zero. Vine was advised by Michael Poster at Michelman & Robinson and Danny Strick at Chase the Dragon.