Outgoing Hipgnosis Directors to Receive Another $318K Apiece for Handling An ‘Increased Workload’ — Early July Vote Set for the Songs Fund’s Sale

Hipgnosis Songs Fund slashes valuation
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Hipgnosis Songs Fund slashes valuation
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Photo Credit: Hipgnosis Songs Fund

Longtime Hipgnosis Songs Fund (HSF) investors aren’t the only ones who are benefiting as the company prepares to sell – directors are now pocketing a cool $317,550 (£250,000) each.

These once-off bonuses emerged in an approximately 120-page scheme document describing the sale’s details. As many know, HSF has in recent years had a decidedly rocky run, complete with a maxed-out credit line, a pause on purchases, a far-from-ideal lawsuit, and much more.

We’ve covered those operational woes every step of the way – including when fed-up investors in October of 2023 voted against a proposed partial selloff of HSF’s holdings and rejected the songs fund’s continuation altogether.

That set the stage for the addition of board members like chairman Robert Naylor, who previously served in the same capacity for Round Hill’s own songs fund. In short, multiple twists, turns, and threats of legal action later, this revamped board paved the way for a suitable offer for the entirety of HSF’s IP.

Said IP includes but certainly isn’t limited to stakes in the work of Lindsey Buckingham, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Shakira, 50 Cent, and Journey. And with Blackstone’s Lyra Bidco expected to pay $1.31 per share ($1.584 billion overall, excluding hundreds of millions of dollars in to-be-assumed HSF debt), shareholders are scheduled to vote on the transaction at July 8th general and court meetings.

As the vote seems all but guaranteed to pass, stakeholders will simultaneously sign off on the initially mentioned outgoing directors’ compensation, per the scheme outline.

Specifically in the cards is a £250,000 windfall apiece for directors Naylor, Christopher Mills, Simon Holden, Cindy Rampersaud, and Francis Keeling, according to the text. The once-off payday is attributed to “the increased workload relating to the preparation of a response to Blackstone’s approach and the” buyout.

On top of that, the directors “are also entitled to out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the proper performance of their duties,” besides outstanding salary payments plus a three-month “notice period.”

For Naylor, the latter will be calculated at $120,669 (£95,000) per year, compared to $104,775 (£82,500) per year for all remaining directors except Rampersaud ($113,846/£89,650), the document shows.

Lastly, in terms of the payment particulars, Naylor and Mills took interests in SONG upon signing on to the board; the former individual bought the 100,000 involved shares for about $93,000 total at the present exchange rate and will receive $131,000 for the same stock under the scheme.

Notwithstanding HSF’s quick-approaching sale, its Blackstone-powered “investment adviser,” Hipgnosis Song Management, appears positioned to keep on closing deals moving forward.

Furthermore, other deep-pocketed catalog investors are picking up where HSF left off, dropping massive sums on commercially prominent bodies of work and, employing comparative selectiveness while looking to the long term, earmarking sizable tranches for IP.