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Red Hot Chili Peppers sell song catalogue to earn $140m from Prognosis: Billboard

The  Red Hot Chili Peppers, a celebrated music band,  has reportedly sold the publishing rights of their song catalogue in a deal that will earn them  $140 million to $150 million from the British investment firm Hipgnosis.

Citing anonymous sources, industry tracker Billboard led the reporting of the sale of the catalogue that includes hits like “Under The Bridge,” “Californication” and “Snow (Hey Oh).”

Neither Hipgnosis nor the band´s representatives immediately confirmed the deal.

As most of the songs were written collectively by band members Flea, Anthony Kiedis, John Frusciante and Chad Smith, the purchase required joint approval.

According to Billboard, Hipgnosis sold nine million new ordinary shares at $1.66 per share on April 29 to finance the deal, which brought in $14 million.

The company headed by music magnate Merck Mercuriadis debuted on the London Stock Exchange in July 2018 and has dropped well over $1 billion on catalogue acquisitions including from Neil Young, Blondie, Shakira and RZA.

The latest sale is part of a song rights purchasing boom as financial markets increasingly are drawn to the lucrative portfolios as an asset class.

In many cases, the transactions have come at staggering prices.

Bob Dylan sold his full publishing catalogue for a reported sum of $300 million to Universal Music Publishing Group, while Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac sold a majority stake in her catalogue reportedly for $100 million.

The owners of a song´s publishing rights receive a cut in a number of scenarios, including radio play and streaming, album sales, and use in advertising and movies.

The sales allow artists to receive immediate payouts rather than wait for those earnings — necessary for some as the pandemic has thwarted performances. -AFP

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