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Blackstone to Invest in $1 Billion Music Partnership

Music rights investment is a hot area, with the catalogs of stars like Bob Dylan recently selling for hundreds of millions of dollars.
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Blackstone  (BX) - Get Blackstone Group Inc. Class A Report shares rose Tuesday after the private equity titan announced a partnership with Hipgnosis Song Management to invest $1 billion in music rights and managing catalogs.

That’s a hot area now, with the catalogs and rights of stars like Bob Dylan recently selling for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Hipgnosis Song Management is investment adviser to Hipgnosis Songs Fund, which trades on the London Stock Exchange and is the largest U.K.-listed investor in music catalogs and royalties, with gross assets of about $2.2 billion, the companies said.

Hipgnosis Song Management and Hipgnosis Songs Fund were founded by Merck Mercuriadis, former manager of Elton John, Guns N’ Roses and other big-time musicians.

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“This partnership underscores the long term, sustainable value we see in creative content across the wider entertainment industry, building on Merck’s vision and dynamism,” said Qasim Abbas, senior managing director of Blackstone Tactical Opportunities.

“The music industry has been at the forefront of the fast-growing streaming economy and is unlocking new ways of consuming content,” Abbas said.

The news may have helped Blackstone shares, which on Tuesday traded at $116.90, up 2% at last check. The stock has skyrocketed 80% year to date amid superior financial performance, but has dipped 9% in the last month amid investors’ valuation concerns.

Last month, New York City-based Blackstone agreed to sell The Cosmopolitan hotel and casino in Las Vegas for $5.65 billion to a partnership that includes MGM Resorts International MGM, Stonepeak Partners, Cherng Family Trust and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust.