Swiss music rights investment firm MusicBird AG and Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group have agreed to a term loan facility with a maximum of $100 million (MUFG). The company has already bought master income and publishing rights from Shaggy and publishing rights from hitmaker J.R. Rotem (Rihanna, Jason Derulo, Fall Out Boy), and now it wants to invest in more music.
MusicBird was established in 2020, and in 2021 it started purchasing music rights. According to their announcement, the company wants to become a “boutique house of hits” with a carefully chosen catalog of “evergreen” songs. The company is willing to consider catalogs from any region or genre and plans to use technology to boost music sales.
MusicBird has recently appointed Paul Brown as CEO, formerly the vice president of global content and platforms at HTC and the senior vice president of strategic partnerships at Spotify, and Roger Howl as a chief financial officer, formerly the senior vice president of finance at Hipgnosis Songs Fund.
This news follows the recent announcement of several major catalog deals, such as the nine-figure acquisition of Juice WRLD’s catalog by Opus Music Group and the acquisition of portions of the catalogs of both Tobias Jesso Jr. and Justin Bieber by Hipgnosis. Variety, meanwhile, says that Michael Jackson’s estate may be put up for auction soon. Despite a global economic downturn, rising interest rates, and other extenuating circumstances, it appears that many players are still continuing to invest in music IP, despite predictions of a slowdown in the catalog market last year.
Managing director of entertainment finance at MUFG, Tony Beaudoin, commented, “MUFG is thrilled to lead the senior debt facility for MusicBird, which will allow the company to expand its catalog acquisition initiative of valued music rights.” Because Paul and Roger have worked in the music business for so long, MUFG has faith in their ability to grow MusicBird’s intellectual property library.