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Metallica and Michael Bublé song rights sold in latest industry deal

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
Photo by: KGC-138/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 6/20/19 Metallica performing in concert at Twickenham Stadium in London, England, UK.
Metallica performing in concert at Twickenham Stadium in London in 2019. Photo: AP

The acquisition spree continues for Hipgnosis (SONG.L), the music rights company that has been snapping up back catalogues at a rate of knots.

The London-listed firm announced on Thursday that it had acquired a catalogue from producer and mixer Bob Rock. The deal gives Hipgnosis rights to Metallica’s self-titled 1990 album, often referred to as “The Black Album,” and several Michael Bublé records, including his hit Christmas album.

The deal gives Hipgnosis the rights to some of the best-known songs from the two artists, including Metallica’s Enter the Sandman and Michael Bublé’s Haven’t Met You Yet.

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“The breadth of Bob Rock's enormous successes are almost impossible to match by any creator in the history of music,” said Merck Mercuriadis, founder of the Hipgnosis Songs Fund.

“From Metallica's most famous 'Black Album' to Michael Bublé's 'Christmas', he has produced some of the biggest albums of all time that continue to be evergreen, year in and year out.”

Rock said: “I put my heart and soul into these recordings. I know how much Merck loves music, so it was an easy deal to put together.”

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Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Shares in Hipgnosis were trading marginally lower in London on Thursday morning.

The acquisition of the Rock catalogue extends a string of dealmaking by Hipgnosis in recent weeks. Since the turn of the year, the company has acquired rights for songs by Shakira, Neil Young, and Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Hipgnosis raised £250m ($343.5) last September to fund its dealmaking spree and said it had a pipeline of deals worth £1bn.

Founded in 2018, Hipgnosis pays musicians and rights holders lump sums to acquire the rights to their music. The company then makes its money through royalty rights from streaming and by placing songs in TV and films.

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Hipgnosis’ recent deal making is part of a broader boom in music rights transactions. Taylor Swift and Bob Dylan both sold rights to their back catalogues last year.

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