US private-equity giant the Blackstone Group has acquired the "iconic" UK venue operator in a deal believed to be worth in excess of £800m
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The deal is expected to close by the end of March and financial details were not disclosed
By Rhian Jones on 05 Jan 2017
US collection and licensing society SESAC has been acquired by investment firm The Blackstone Group. Financial details were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close by the end of March.
Blackstone is valued at $35bn and has over $361bn in assets under management in the private equity, real estate, hedge fund solutions and credit sectors. SESAC’s current owner is Rizvi Traverse Management.
Alongside ASCAP and BMI, SESAC collects and distributes money earned from public performance, mechanical and synchronisation rights in the US to songwriters and musicians.
In 2015, royalties for public performance rights collected by SESAC, BMI and ASCAP posted a growth rate of 9.1%, climbing to €6.8 billion and accounting for 78.8% of overall music-related collections, according to the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC).
SESAC Chairman and CEO John Josephson said the Blackstone deal was done “with the specific intent of backing the existing management team, and shares our long-term vision for the company with a history of adding value to their portfolio companies as a supportive strategic partner and capital provider.”
“The long-term investment horizon of [Blackstone’s] core private equity platform was especially attractive to us as we seek to execute our company’s growth strategy in our primary performance rights business, as well as mechanical rights, administrative services, multi-rights and multi-territory licensing.”
He continued: “The long-term investment horizon of their core private equity platform was especially attractive to us as we seek to execute our company’s growth strategy in our primary performance rights business, as well as mechanical rights, administrative services, multi-rights and multi-territory licensing.
“Going forward, we believe our long-term partnership with Blackstone will position SESAC well for enhanced growth and continued delivery of best in class service to our affiliates, licensees and commercial partners.”
In July last year, SESAC acquired mechanical rights organisation Harry Fox Agency. The deal reportedly makes SESAC the only music rights firm in the US with the ability to offer singular licenses for the works of its affiliated writers and publishers that aggregate both performance and mechanical rights.
Amongst SESAC’s 30,000 clients are Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, RUSH, Charli XCX (PRS), Zac Brown, Mumford & Sons (PRS), Lady Antebellum, Mariah Carey, Axl Rose, Shirley Caesar, and Robin Thicke.
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