Five Months Later, BMI Has Officially Ended Its Goldman-Assisted Pursuit of a Multi-Billion-Dollar Sale

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About five months after enlisting Goldman Sachs to pursue “strategic opportunities” including a possible sale, Broadcast Music, Inc. is no longer on the market, higher-ups have confirmed.

The performance rights organization’s unsuccessful effort to find a willing buyer follows a March announcement from BMI president and CEO Mike O’Neill, who relayed that “music has never been more valuable” and claimed that “we are in an unprecedented time full of opportunity.”

Notwithstanding these optimistic comments, the music industry’s continued revenue growth, and the billions that investors have poured into song rights since 2020’s beginning, Bloomberg has reported that Goldman was unable to connect the PRO (which, along with ASCAP but not SESAC and GMR, remains subject to a consent decree) with a buyer, as initially highlighted.

The purportedly non-profit BMI received “a few offers” from prospective purchasers, according to the same outlet, but “most” of the parties ultimately opted not to pursue a deal or made “complicated offers that didn’t work for BMI.”

At the time of this piece’s writing, BMI hadn’t addressed the matter via a statement on its website, and similarly, Goldman didn’t appear to have commented publicly on the subject. But per the mentioned outlet, the PRO has definitively communicated that a selloff “is no longer an avenue we are considering.”

The entity was reportedly hunting for a minimum $1.5 billion deal, and anonymous sources with knowledge of the matter claimed that execs had requested as much as $3 billion from prospective bidders. Similarly, Concord has shelved its own plans for a sale – and continued making sizable acquisitions – after reportedly turning down a $5 billion bid.

Despite these developments and the state of the wider market, the likes of Warner Music-backed Tempo Music Investments, Round Hill Music, and Toronto-based Anthem Entertainment (which bills itself as “one of the world’s leading independent music and entertainment content and services companies”) are reportedly continuing to search for (presumably substantial) paydays via sales.

Amid a slowdown in the overarching song-rights space – Hipgnosis just recently unveiled a more than $220 million bond backed by royalties – it bears noting that some companies are continuing to make high-profile plays.

BMG, for instance, has closed catalog agreements with the likes of Simple Minds and Jean-Michel Jarre (besides purchasing prominent indie labels) to this point in 2022, whereas HarbourView Equity Partners late last month bought music IP from Lady A and Brad Paisley.

Meanwhile, Exceleration Music wrapped July with the acquisition of Dutch independent label Heroic Music Group, and Litmus Music (which today announced Monti Olson as its president) set sail at August’s start with $500 million to spend on catalogs.