Justin Bieber close to a $200 million deal to sell his music rights

Justin Bieber is closing in on a deal to sell his music rights to Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital for about $200 million, sources confirm. Variety. The news, which had been rumored for weeks, was first reported on Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal.

The deal, which sources point out is not yet done, includes Bieber’s shares of his recorded music and publishing catalog, according to the sources. Variety they will continue to be managed and owned (respectively) by Universal even if the deal goes through.

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Representatives for Bieber and Hipgnosis declined or did not respond Varietycomment requests.

The news comes amid troubled times for the singer, just weeks after he postponed the remaining dates of his ‘Justice’ tour until sometime ‘next year’. The tour, originally scheduled to launch in 2020, has been postponed or delayed several times, initially due to the pandemic but more recently following his bout with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a rare virus which in his case caused the facial paralysis. It finally launched in March and covered most of North America, but it pushed back the remaining dates to early June after announcing its struggles with the disease.

It also comes amid a general cooling of the previously incandescent catalog market, which has become less attractive as asking prices have soared and interest rates and capital gains taxes have risen.

Bieber’s catalog, while containing portions of his multiple hits over the past 15-odd years, is also smaller than that of more seasoned catalogs, such as Genesis and Phil Collins, whose catalogs sold for $300 million earlier in this year.

However, some companies, notably Hipgnosis, have adopted newer catalogues. According to the Journal, the deal with Bieber would be the largest music rights acquisition for Hipgnosis to date. Earlier this year, the company acquired the rights to the song catalog of Justin Timberlake, whose works are a few years older than Bieber’s, in a deal said to be worth just over $100 million. While Bieber’s share of hits like ‘Sorry’, ‘Love Yourself’ and even older tracks like ‘Baby’ are said to be relatively small, they are still massive global hits that define an era for many.

Conversely, Hipgnosis has also acquired legendary songwriter Leonard Cohen’s catalog, which includes many classics that are over 50 years old.

The market actually peaked in 2020 and last year when Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen sold their catalogs for nine-figure sums.

Variety will have more information on this situation as it develops.

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