Fueled by Francisco Partners Funding, Muse Acquires Hal Leonard and Eyes Additional Deals ‘With Innovators in the Sector’

muse hal leonard acquisition
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muse hal leonard acquisition
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Muse Group has acquired Hal Leonard. Photo Credit: Muse

Audacity owner Muse Group has acquired sheet music publisher Hal Leonard as part of a deal supported by capital from Francisco Partners.

Cyprus-based Muse and 76-year-old Hal Leonard emailed DMN today about the transaction, with the Kobalt parent Francisco Partners having put out a separate announcement. According to its website, Hal Leonard boasts a “catalog of more than one million available titles,” besides operating (among other things) ArrangeMe, through which professionals can sell their own arrangements.

Meanwhile, Muse platforms will soon feature Hal Leonard’s content and arrangements “in digitized, interactive formats,” per the music technology company, which also said that Ultimate Guitar and MuseScore alone attract north of 300 million visitors annually.

All told, Francisco Partners indicated that the united businesses, which are poised to keep on operating independently, will encompass “a content library of over 5.5 million scores, tabs, books, video courses, backing tracks, and presets.”

Beyond this sizable library, the involved parties made clear their belief that the StaffPad parent Muse will deliver “significant creator software and technical innovation” to Hal Leonard from a digital perspective.

On the other side of the equation, Hal Leonard’s “educational expertise” is expected to set the stage for Muse to bring its “offering to music learners of all skill levels, through both crafted curriculums and pioneering AI-powered tools.”

Elaborating upon the point, Hal Leonard chairman and CEO Larry Morton in a statement relayed that the “partnership will create more music makers worldwide and will lead to even more advances in music education technology.”

“Hal Leonard and Muse have been working closely together in commercial partnerships for over fifteen years and have built trust and mutual respect over that time,” continued the longtime exec Morton. “Combining the strengths of both companies is a truly exciting prospect, full of potential ways to grow the music industry in new directions.”

Although Francisco Partners opted against disclosing the precise financial and ownership details associated with the deal, it did communicate that the post-combination operation will use the “investment to accelerate organic and inorganic growth.”

Muse and Hal Leonard, Francisco Partners proceeded to spell out, are “actively looking to partner with innovators in the sector.”

“We are excited to partner with Muse Group and Hal Leonard to help enable their combination and usher in the joint company’s next stage of growth,” expanded Francisco Partners co-head of Europe Matt Spetzler. “The combined business will offer its customers unparalleled content and technology focused on music learning across digital, print, and educational channels.”