Even in a pandemic, Hipgnosis Songs — the fast-rising music publishing company that’s been buying up catalogs by hitmakers ranging from Timbaland and the Chainsmokers to Jack Antonoff and Jeff Bhasker — is raising hundreds of millions of dollars. The company, founded by Merck Mercuriadis and Chic cofounder Nile Rodgers (pictured above), has secured a new $188 million revolving credit facility from a syndication of seven banks, including JP Morgan. The news was first reported by Music Business Worldwide.
According to the announcement, the facility refinances Hipgnosis’s £65m RCF, originally lent by JP Morgan in August 2019. Björn Lindvall, COO of Hipgnosis, commented: “We are very pleased to have been able to issue our first syndicated loan facility at incredibly good terms in these highly volatile markets whilst still being oversubscribed.”
Founded last year by Mercuriades and Chic cofounder Nile Rodgers, Hignosis has acquired 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 told investors earlier this year, and its recent acquisitions have driven that number even higher.
Last month alone, Hipgnosis has announced the acquisition of catalogs from hit songwriters Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Lorde, St. Vincent), Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Harry Styles), Savan Kotecha (Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, One Directon), Fraser T. Smith (Adele, Stormzy), Johnny McDaid (Ed Sheeran, Pink), the band Kaiser Chiefs and producer Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam).
Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills advised Hipgnosis on both the new facility and last year’s £65 million credit raise.
Gabrielle Wong, partner in Herbert Smith Freehills’ finance practice, commented: “Successful completion of this debt raising in the midst of a global pandemic is a testament to the confidence of investors in the robustness of Hipgnosis’ business and the evolution of songs as a valuable asset class.
“We are delighted to have advised Hipgnosis on yet another significant transaction. It is exciting to work with such a dynamic client and I look forward to continue supporting Merck and his team as they expand their business and go from strength to strength.”
Lindvall added: “I would like to thank Gabrielle and her team for their hard and diligent work, which in no small way was a determining factor in getting this deal across the finishing line in a successful way.”