Eurythmics' Dave Stewart sells music catalogue to Hipgnosis

Firm that offers investors chance to profit from royalties secures new collection of hits

A London-listed company offering investors the chance to make money from the royalties of songs by famous artists has struck a deal to buy the music catalogue of the Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart.

Stewart and his fellow Eurythmics founder Annie Lennox have produced global hits including Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Would I Lie to You? and There Must be an Angel (Playing with My Heart) and have sold more than 100m albums worldwide.

Hipgnosis Song Fund, founded by Merck Mercuriadis, the former manager of acts including Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden and Beyoncé, will make money from the income generated by Stewart’s copyright interest in the Eurythmics catalogue. The deal does not include Lennox’s interest in the catalogue.

“The work Dave and Annie did together as Eurythmics defines the 1980s and 1990s but still remains timeless today,” said Mercuriadis. “I’m not generally one for puns but sweet dreams are literally made of this.”

Stewart co-wrote and produced every Eurythmics album, including eight top five and three No 1 albums in the UK. His overall catalogue comprises 1,068 songs and includes income from his share of writer, artist and producer copyright interest in songs. He has also produced and written songs with artists including Tom Petty, No Doubt, and Shakespears Sister.

“[Merck] sees his company more like a song management company unlike many publishers who act more like a collection agency and wait for the money to pour in,” said Stewart. “I’m excited to be on the advisory board of this forward thinking company.”

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Hipgnosis, which aims to build a valuable portfolio of rights to songs that will generate good long-term returns for investors, made its debut on the London Stock Exchange in July raising £200m from its initial public offering to spend on catalogues. The company is proving popular with investors, raising a further £141.5m last month, far exceeding its original £100m target.

In November, Hipgnosis struck a multimillion-pound deal for the catalogue of Jason Boyd, one of Justin Bieber’s closest collaborators, which included the Bieber remix of the global hit Despacito.

In the 1990s, punters were given the chance to invest in David Bowie’s success by purchasing Bowie Bonds. These were 10-year premium bonds secured against Bowie’s future royalty earnings from songs released prior to 1993, with an attractive interest rate of 7.9%. Prudential Insurance bought the whole issue for $55m. Bowie was followed by artists including Iron Maiden and James Brown. However, as music fans drifted away from record stores in the early 2000s, owners of Bowie Bonds saw their investment tank.


Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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