Irv Gotti has sold his stake in Murder Inc’s master recordings in a deal worth a reported $300 million.
Irving Lorenzo founded Murder Inc in 1999 following his success at Def Jam Records. The label helped launch the careers of artists like Ja Rule, Ashanti, Charli Baltimore, and many others. The deal sees Irv Gotti sell a “50% ownership stake of his masters, with additional funding for various film and television projects.”
Gotti sold his stake to Olivier Chastan’s acquisition vehicle, Iconoclast. The Los Angeles-based firm entered the music rights acquisition space in February 2022 following the purchase of Robbie Robertson’s music publishing, name, likeness, and recorded music interests.
Visionary Ideas President Darcell Lawrence, Nicki Lorenzo-Rabin CFO, and John ‘BJ’ Bryant EVP will continue managing the Murder Inc company and developing content for BET/Paramount Global. Irv Gotti shared the news of the deal on his Instagram last week.
“I f*cking did it! Signed my deal. I sold my past. To ignite my future. Watch your boy go,” the music exec shared with his followers. A statement to the media shares that the deal was negotiated by Walter Jordan, with legal representation by Brian Robinson and Gary Stiffleman.
Olivier Chastan previously served as CEO at Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group. IAG last year made several music rights acquisitions, including the Beach Boys, David Crosby, and Linda Ronstadt. Iconoclast launched in Fall 2021 and has since completed at least five separate music acquisition rights.
Chastan also acted as a strategic consultant to independent music publisher Big Deal Music and its founder, Kenny MacPherson on operational, financial, and strategic issues before it was sold to Hipgnosis in 2020. When asked about Iconoclast and its backers, Chastan remains elusive.
“I started the current incarnation of the company last year. We are funded by a large investment company, but we are not really structured like a fund in that we do not have a cap on the amount of money we can invest,” Chastan says. “We are starting with a large funding base though.”
“Our backer would prefer to remain unnamed, but let’s say that it is one of the biggest asset management companies in the world,” Chastan says. MBW has identified the company as Pimco, with over $2.2 trillion in assets.
“We have an allocation of funds that is significant and as high as any funds raised in the past. Because we have a single investor with a large capital base, if we run into deals that are say over $800 million, we do not have to go raise additional capital,” adds Chastan.