BMI, music licensing giant, sold to private equity firm, New Mountain Capital

BMI, music licensing giant, sold to private equity firm, New Mountain Capital

Broadcast Music Inc (BMI), one of the world’s leading music licensing agencies responsible for distributing royalties to artists, has been sold to a private equity firm.

The price paid has yet to be disclosed, but a Billboard magazine article from August suggests the figure could be up to $1.7billion. Shareholder and regulatory approval is now needed to finalise the agreement, but this is expected to complete by late-March 2024, at which point New Mountain Capital will take ownership. The firm’s other interests include Citrin Cooperman, a firm that has played a pivotal role in advising investment firms on music catalogue opportunities.  

Just over a year ago, BMI had announced its intention to switch to a for-profit model, raising concern within the industry. Alongside ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), the organisation has dominance over the distribution of royalties to songwriters and other rights owners earned through radio play, streams and purchases. 

“New Mountain is an ideal partner because they believe in our mission and understand that the key to success for our company lies in delivering value to our affiliates,” said Michael O’Neill, BMI’s president and CEO, in a statement. “We are excited about the many ways New Mountain will accelerate our growth plan, bringing new vision, technological expertise and an outstanding track record of strengthening businesses, all of which will help us build an even stronger future for BMI and our songwriters, composers and publishers.”

Last month, another major music deal was announced, with Epic Games selling the online community and retail platform Bandcamp to Songtradr. 

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