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Hipgnosis hopes for magic as it buys Barry Manilow songs

4 August 2020

Music and passion are the fashion at royalties fund Hipgnosis as it adds the back catalogue of Barry Manilow to its burgeoning alternative income portfolio.

Hipgnosis Songs (SONG ) investors may want to celebrate at the Copacabana after the song royalty investment company bought the back catalogue of crooner Barry Manilow.

The £721m closed-ended fund has added to its vast repertoire of music, which includes the rights to songs written for Adele, Justin Bieber, and Stormzy, by purchasing the music catalogue of Manilow, whose career spans almost five decades and includes chart-topping hits ‘Mandy’, ‘Copacabana (At the Copa)’ and ‘Could It Be Magic?’

Manilow secured his spot as one of the world’s bestselling artists having sold over 85m records and has been named the top ‘adult contemporary’ chart artist of all time by R&R and Billboard, bagging 12 number one hits. 

Merck Mercuriadis, founder of Hipgnosis, former Beyonce manager, and Sanctuary record label boss, said Manilow was an ‘international treasure’. 

‘He’s an incomparable artist, songwriter, arranger, musician, and performer,’ he said.

 

‘In the 1970s and ‘80s he redefined mainstream entertainmentand drove it to new heights of success with truly classic songs.’ 

In his statement Manilow said Mercuriadis had ‘created a new type of music company and I’m looking forward to being part of the family’.

Investors may not be such big Manilow fans, as the shares eased 2p lower to 117p yesterday after the announcement. However, the Guernsey investment company has been a safe haven rising

had considerable success since its launch in 2018 as investors scrambled to find alternative streams of income. 

The 4.3% yielding fund has seen its net asset value boosted 4.8% year-to-date and its share price rise 10%, putting it at a 2.4% premium. 

The fund, which comprises the rights to over 13,000 songs, raised over £236m in a ‘C’-share issue last month, its fourth fund raise since launch two years ago.

Having risen from 100p over two years, the shares stand on around a 9% premium over net asset value and yield slightly more than 4% in quarterly dividends.

The fund has benefited from the pandemic with online streaming platforms such as Spotify enjoying a surge in demand from consumers during lockdowns, that has boosted the value of song royalties.

In annual results in June, Mercuriadis said song revenues were uncorrelated to the mainstream stock market and ‘in good times or challenged, music is always being consumed’.

Investment company news brought to you by Citywire Financial Publishers Limited.

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