Blackstone to make improved bid for Hipgnosis, Sky News reports

By Thomson Reuters Apr 28, 2024 | 9:52 AM

(Reuters) – Private equity giant Blackstone is preparing to lodge an improved bid for Hipgnosis Songs Fund which owns the music rights of artists including Shakira and Blondie, Sky News reported on Sunday.

Blackstone’s bid will trump independent music company Concord’s proposal of $1.25 per share, the British broadcaster’s report said, adding that Blackstone will lodge its improved bid as early as Monday.

Blackstone declined to comment on the report while Hipgnosis deferred to Blackstone on a request for comment by Reuters.

The report comes after Nashville-based Concord sweetened its bid for Hipgnosis on Wednesday to $1.25 per share, slightly higher than Blackstone’s previous proposal of $1.24.

Blackstone had made its fourth and latest proposal last weekend, valuing Hipgnosis at $1.24 per share in cash.

A Blackstone deal would see more than 65,000 songs, including tracks by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Neil Young, added to Blackstone’s portfolio, which includes songs by Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake.

The takeover battle for Hipgnosis comes as the fund, founded by industry veteran and ex-CEO Merck Mercuriadis in 2018, started a strategic review last year after a shareholder vote against the continuation of the fund led to a board overhaul and a portfolio revaluation.

(Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Andrew Cawthorne)