Investment firm KKR & Co. is getting into the music-copyright buying frenzy, investing in pop producer Ryan Tedder’s list of hits, including songs by Beyoncé, Adele and Stevie Wonder.
According to people familiar with the transaction, the firm is taking a majority stake, valuing the catalog at about $ 200 million. The deal includes a mix of some copyright and royalty streams for 500 songs written, recorded or produced by Mr. Tedder for his band OneRepublic and other artists.
KKR’s entry into music-copyright ownership came amid a rash of songwriting catalog deals. In late 2020, Stevie gave Music Publisher Primary Wave an 80% stake in his songwriting copyrights, raising his catalog’s valuation to $ 100 million. Bob Dylan then sold over 600 songs to Vivendi SE’s Universal Music Group for $ 300 million to $ 400 million. In the first week of the new year, music-investment company Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd announced deals to purchase copyrights from Jimmy Iovine, Lindsey Buckingham and Neil Young. According to people familiar with the deal, Mr. Young’s sales alone were valued at between $ 40 million and $ 50 million for a 50% stake.
In 2016, Mr. Tedder sold a portion of his publication, except for OneRepublic, to Downtown Music Holdings, which would continue to own and administer those copyrights. Interscope Records of Universal Music Group also owns the master recording copyright for OneRepublic’s recorded music; KKR will participate in producer royalty from Mr. Tedder and the band’s royalty income from that music as well as other recorded assets.
KKR has been invested in the music industry since 2009, including the purchase of Gibson Brands – which recently acquired amp manufacturer Mesa / Boogie and Tickcock parent ByteDance Ltd, BMG and former pioneer DJs in Alpha Theta did. The company has said that it is actively investing in music and entertainment, including intellectual property such as song compositions.