Pimco Partners With BMG to Acquire Music Rights

Pimco is the latest institutional investor to enter the booming market for music rights. The investment manager, which has $2.2 trillion under management, is teaming up with BMG to acquire music catalogs, the Financial Times reports. The article did not specify the amount of money the companies will allocate for investments but cited an unnamed source as saying the individual deals will smaller than those BMG makes through its partnership with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

A source with knowledge of the partnership told Billboard the report was substantially correct. Representatives from BMG and Pimco declined to comment.

Last year, BMG, the fourth-largest music publisher in the world, and KKR announced a new partnership to invest $1 billion in music rights. (BMG that dates back to the 2009 formation of BMG Rights Management, a joint venture of Bertelsmann and KKR. Bertelsmann bought out KKR’s stake in the joint venture in 2013.) In December, the companies acquired rock band ZZ Top’s publishing catalog and recorded music royalties for an undisclosed sum. In a 2021 deal revealed last Friday,  BMG and KKR purchased singer John Legend’s personal share of the copyrights to his compositions as well as his recorded music royalties dating from 2004 to early 2021.

A staggering amount of money has entered the music rights market and made deals in the hundreds of millions and billions of dollars seem commonplace. The last 12 months alone have seen major partnerships, such as investment giant Blackstone backing Hipgnosis Songs Management the tune of $1 billion and Apollo Global Management committing up to $1 billion in funding to Sherrese Clarke Soares’ newly launched HarbourView Equity Partners. Additionally, the inflow of funding means deeper pockets for the like of Primary Wave (through a $375 million investment from Oaktree Capital in June 2021) and Round Hill Music ($86.5 million raised through a stock offering in July 2021) to continue their buying sprees.