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Music

Universal Music Group Gets $240M Minority Stake in Chord Music Partners

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The company will now handle distribution and publishing administration for Chord’s catalog, which includes works released by Fleetwood Mac, Maroon 5 and Beyoncé. 

Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s largest music company, has acquired a 25.8% interest in Chord Music Partners for $240 million. As part of the deal, UMG will now handle distribution and publishing administration for Chord’s existing catalog, provided by UMG’s Virgin Music Group and Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), respectively.

Formed in 2021 by KKR and Dundee Partners, the investment office of the Hendel family, Chord owns over 60,000 copyrights. This includes stakes in top songs like “Dreams” and “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, “La Grange” by ZZ Top, “Counting Stars” and “Apologize” by OneRepublic, “Redbone” by Childish Gambino, “I Like Me Better” by Lauv, “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi, “All Of Me” by John Legend, “Girls Like You” and “Sugar” by Maroon 5, “Halo” by Beyonce and “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.

Following the completion of the transaction, KKR will exit Chord. Previously, it was the majority stakeholder in the catalog firm. Now, Dundee is increasing its share to 74.2% and UMG will hold the remaining minority share.

UMG was advised by Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Freshfields. DLA Piper and Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP served as legal advisors to Dundee. Fifth Third Bank, National Association served as financial advisor and provided committed financing to Dundee and UMG. The Raine Group served as the exclusive financial advisor and Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP served as legal advisor to Chord Music Partners. Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to KKR.

Lucian Grainge, chairman/CEO of UMG, said in a statement: “Finding partners who share our passion for identifying iconic songs and recordings that will stand the test of time and deliver long-term growth is essential, which is why we’re so pleased to be working with Stephen and Sam Hendel and Dundee Partners. With the leadership of Jody Gerson at UMPG, Nat Pastor and JT Myers at Virgin, and the support of our experienced creative executives around the world, no one can do more with music rights than our teams. We look forward to creating maximum commercial and creative value for the songwriters and artists in Chord and building for the future.”

Boyd Muir, UMG executive vp/CFO/president of operations added: “We’re excited to partner with the Hendel family in Chord for a number of reasons. First, KKR and Dundee have built a very high-quality catalog that will benefit from our first-rate management and global capabilities. Second, this new structure provides us with an efficient vehicle for future catalog acquisitions, without significant capital allocation through a combination of leverage and partner equity capital. And finally, it offers us the perfect partner to approach future growth opportunistically and flexibly, one who is equally bullish on the long-term prospects for music.”

Sam Hendel, Dundee Partners’ managing principal/co-founder of Chord, added: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Universal Music Group and embarking on this next exciting chapter for Chord. By combining a best-in-class financial acquisition vehicle with the world’s leading music company, we are creating both a premier platform for music investment as well as a permanent home for premier artists’ legacies and their iconic cultural works. We’d like to thank the team at KKR for their partnership and creating a strong foundation for Chord and its future success.”

“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with many leading artists and to create significant value for our investors by building Chord into a differentiated and scaled portfolio,” said Jenny Box, partner at KKR. “We believe that Dundee and UMG will drive further value creation for artists and that they share our commitment to being respectful stewards of artists’ music.”

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Jazz

Bobby Weir and Sun Ra Arkestra to headline A Great Night in Harlem fundraiser for the Jazz Foundation of America

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The March 28 event will take place at Harlem’s Apollo.

Bobby Weir and Sun Ra Arkestra will headline A Great Night in Harlem fundraiser for the Jazz Foundation of America.

The annual benefit will take place March 28 at The Apollo in Harlem. Its name plays off of A Great Day in Harlem, the classic 1958 Art Kane black-and-white photograph for Esquire that featured more than 50 jazz musicians seated on and surrounding a brownstone stoop.

The event, with Steve Jordan as musical director, will also feature a tribute to drummer Max Roach, who would have turned 100 in January, with Charles Tolliver, Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Cables, Billy Harper and Rufus Reid, as well as the Titans of Jazz Drums with Al Foster, Billy Hart and Louis Hayes.

The evening will honor Richard Parsons with JFA’s Dr. Billy Taylor Humanitarian Award. Parsons is the former chairman of Citigroup and former chairman/CEO of Time Warner.

Parsons is stepping down after 15 years as JFA chairman and will be succeeded by JFA president Jarrett Lilien. Board member Dr. Daveed D. Frazier will become president of the JFA board of directors. Last year’s event honored Clarence Avant, Dave Grusin and Charles Lloyd at Los Angeles’ Vibrato Grill Jazz.

Proceeds from the benefit fund JFA programs that provide housing assistance, pro-bono healthcare, disaster relief and direct financial support to musicians and their families. For the past 35 years, JFA has been assisting not only jazz musicians, but artists in blues, roots and R&B genres.

For more information on tickets for the March 28 event, go to JFA@eventassociatesinc.com For individual concert tickets, go to jazzfoundation.org/gala2024. 

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Ariana Grande & Mariah Carey’s Diva Duo Full-Circle Moment ‘Yes, And?’ Remix

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On the new Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, Katie & & Keith are talking about the buzzy team-up, as well as Dua Lipa’s new “Training Season” single & & video.

With her dreamy pop songs and sky-high whistle tones, Ariana Grande has drawn comparisons to Mariah Carey since her music debut back in 2013. Of course, in the decade-plus since, Grande has made a massive, marquee name for herself– so it’s a bit of a full-circle moment that the two chart-topping divas have joined forces on the just-released remix of Grande’s “Yes, And?” single

On the new Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, Katie & & Keith are talking about why the remix makes so much sense, from the two artists’ longtime admiration for one another to the songs early- ’90s- referencing production making sense for Carey’s early- ’90s origin.

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Fans Choose Ariana Grande & & Mariah Carey’s ‘Yes, And?’ Remix as This Week’s Favorite …

02/20/2024

 

Listen to the podcast below:

Also on the show, we’ve got chart news on how Beyoncé, Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign shake up the charts in a big way, courtesy of their latest releases, and how Usher nabs his highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 in over a decade with his new album Coming Home Plus, we’re also talking about Dua Lipa’s new “Training Season” single and video, two weeks after she live-debuted the song as part of a Grammys medley.

The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard‘s weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard‘s executive digital director, West Coast, Katie Atkinson and Billboard‘s managing director, charts and data operations, Keith Caulfield every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. ( Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)

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