Catalog cover

Hipgnosis buys Leonard Cohen’s catalog via a fund backed by Blackstone

Hipgnosis Song Management has announced the acquisition of a career-spanning catalog created by legendary Canadian artist and songwriter Leonard Cohen.

Acquisition marks landmark deal for private, backed by Blackstone Hipgnosis Songs Capital ICAV fund, a separate entity from the UK listed fund Hipgnosis Songs Fund.

Both of these funds (Hipgnosis Songs Capital and Hipgnosis Songs Fund) have their investments managed by Hipgnosis Song Management, in which Blackstone is also an investor.

Hipgnosis acquired an interest in the 278 songs and derivatives written by Leonard Cohen.

Of these 278 compositions, 127 songs are from Leonard Cohen’s Stranger Music catalog, for which Hipgnosis acquired the author’s share of the royalties.

The Stranger Music catalog covers the period from the beginning of Cohen’s career until the year 2000 and includes all derivative works, for a total of 211 songs.

The publisher’s share of these works – and control of the publishing right – belongs to Sony Music Publishing. (Also note: Sony Music Entertainment continues to own the copyright to the music recorded in this catalog.)

The Stranger Music catalog includes Alleluiawhich has been covered over 300 times and sold nearly 10 million records, in addition to being streamed over 5 billion times across all services.

Hipgnosis also acquired 100% copyright ownership – including the publisher’s share and writer’s share – royalties in the Old Ideas catalog, which consists of 67 songs and derivative works written by Leonard Cohen from 2001 until his death, aged 82, in 2016.

The Cohen estate was represented in the deal by longtime Leonard Cohen principal Robert Kory, as well as KR Capital Partners and Jonathan Friedman at Stubbs, Alderton and Markiles LLP.

Merck Mercuriadis, Founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Song Management, said, “Now being stewards and stewards of Leonard Cohen’s incomparable songs is a wonderful but very serious responsibility that we approach with enthusiasm and fully understand the importance of.

“Leonard wrote words and songs that changed our lives, none more evident than Hallelujah, but there are so many more that we can’t wait to remind the world of on a daily basis. He is revered around the world worldwide because of the breadth of his work and we are delighted that the Cohen family and Robert Kory have chosen Hipgnosis in this most important decision of who to entrust Leonard’s legacy to.

“We welcome them to the Hipgnosis family and look forward to working together to honor the songs of the great Leonard Cohen.”

“To be the guardians and stewards of Leonard Cohen’s matchless songs now is a wonderful but very serious responsibility.”

Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnose

Robert Kory said: “Merck Mercuriadis is unique in the world of music publishing with its experience managing artists. We know he cares about artists and, as a Quebecer, he particularly appreciates Leonard’s unique status in popular music. The catalog is in good hands. The Hipgnosis team was a pleasure to work with throughout the transaction.

The purchase of the Leonard Cohen catalog is the second publicly announced acquisition for the fund Hipgnosis Songs Capital, which has a billion dollar backing from Blackstone.

In January, Hipgnosis announced that it had acquired an 80% stake in country star Kenny Chesney’s recorded music royalty stream.

Apart Alleluia and SusannaLeonard Cohen is known for other successes including Farewell Marianne, bird on a wire, Famous blue raincoat, I’m your man, Democracy, Dance me until the end of love, Everyone knows, We take Manhattan first, Go home and more recently, You want it darker.

Among Cohen’s three Grammy awards, the artist won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, as well as a posthumous Grammy in 2017 for Best Rock Performance for the track. You want it darker.

Along with numerous other accolades, Cohen is also a five-time Juno Award Winner.The music industry around the world