February 4, 2023

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Justin Bieber sells music rights to Hypnosis for $200 million-plus

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As expected, Justin Bieber has sold his music rights to Blackstone-backed Hypnosis Song Capital for north of $200 million, the company announced. News of the impending deal, which had been rumored for weeks, was widely reported last month.

The deal includes shares of Bieber’s publishing and recorded-music catalog, which

Bieber owns copyrights in his publications (including parts of the author’s performances), master recordings, and neighboring rights interests in his entire back catalog, which includes more than 290 titles released before December 31, 2021. Sources said diversity Bieber’s songs will be managed by Universal Music, the singer’s longtime home.

Hypnosis was acquired by Gun Capital, a partnership between Hypnosis Gun Management and funds managed by Blackstone. Scooter Braun at Hyb America, David Bolno at NKSFB, Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg at Mobasa’s Younger & Light LLP, Aaron Rosenberg and Audrey Benoalde and Michael Rhodes at Cooley represented Biber.

Brown, CEO of Hyb America and Bieber’s manager of 15 years, said: “I want to thank Mark and his entire Hypnosis team and all of our partners for working so hard to make this historic deal happen. When Justin decided to do a catalog deal, we quickly found the best partners to preserve and grow this amazing legacy, Mark and Hypnosis. I am grateful to have witnessed this journey for 15 years and today I am happy for everyone involved. Justin’s greatness is just beginning.”

Mark Mercouriadis, founder and CEO of Hipognosis Song Management, said: “Justin Bieber’s impact on global culture over the past 14 years has been truly remarkable. The acquisition ranks among the biggest deals for an artist under the age of 70, on the strength of an incredible catalog that boasts nearly 82 million monthly listeners and over 30 billion streams on Spotify alone. Scooter Braun has helped him build an incredible catalog, and is thrilled to welcome Justin and his incredible songs and recordings to the Hypnosis family.”

Hypognosis Gun Capital is represented by William Leibovitz, William R. At Leibovitz Law Group, Seth Traxler and Rory Welliver at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Robert Fowler and Lisa Wong at HW Fisher.

The news comes at a quiet time for the singer, weeks after the remaining dates of his “Judgment” tour were postponed until “next year” indefinitely. The tour, which was originally scheduled to launch in 2020, has been postponed or delayed several times, primarily due to the pandemic but more recently after his battle with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a rare virus that causes facial paralysis in his case. It finally opened in March and covered much of North America, but she postponed the rest of the dates in early June after she announced she was struggling with an illness.

It also comes amid a general cool-off in the previously red-hot catalog market, which has become less attractive as asking prices rise and interest rates and capital gains taxes rise.

Bieber’s catalog, containing his share of multiple hits over the past 15-odd years, also pales in comparison to more seasoned ones like Genesis and Phil Collins, whose catalogs sold for $300 million earlier this year.

However, some companies, notably Hypnosis, have adopted the new catalog. According to the Journal, the Bieber deal would be the largest music-rights acquisition for Hipgnosis to date. Earlier this year, the company acquired the song-catalog rights of Justin Timberlake, whose works predate Bieber’s by several years, in a deal reported to be worth just over $100 million. Although parts of hits from older tracks like “Sorry,” “Love Yourself” and even “Baby” are considered relatively small, they are still huge global hits that define an era for many. Conversely, Hypnosis has also acquired the catalog of legendary singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, including many classics spanning more than 50 years.

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