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UMG Acquires Minority Stake in Chord Music Partners for 0 Million

UMG Chord Music Partners

Photo Credit: Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group acquires a 25.8% minority stake in Chord Music Partners for $250 million.

Universal Music Group (UMG) and investment office Dundee Partners have announced UMG’s acquisition of a 25.8% interest in Chord Music Partners for $250 million, in a deal valuing Chord at $1.85 billion.

Through the deal, UMG and Dundee Partners will enter into a long-term strategic partnership to actively manage Chord’s rights through UMG’s global network, and to acquire additional catalogs in the future. Chord’s music publishing rights will be administered through Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), and recorded music through UMG’s Virgin Music Group.

Chord was formed in 2021 by KKR and Dundee Partners, a pure-play catalog of premier music intellectual property. The company’s portfolio includes works from some of the world’s most recognizable artists and songwriters, including The Weeknd, David Guetta, Lorde, Kid Cudi, Diplo, Ellie Goulding, ZZ Top, John Legend, Twenty-One Pilots, and many more.

“Finding partners who share our passion for identifying iconic songs and recordings that will stand the test of time and deliver long-term growth is essential, which is why we’re so pleased to be working with Stephen and Sam Hendel and Dundee Partners,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG.

“With the leadership of Jody Gerson at UMPG, Nat Pastor and JT Myers at Virgin, and the support of our experienced creative executives around the world, no one can do more with music rights than our teams. We look forward to creating maximum commercial and creative value for the songwriters and artists in Chord and building for the future.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Universal Music Group and embarking on this next exciting chapter for Chord,” said Sam Hendel, Dundee Partners’ Managing Principal and Co-Founder of Chord.

“By combining a best-in-class financial acquisition vehicle with the world’s leading music company, we are creating both a premier platform for music investment as well as a permanent home for premier artist’s legacies and their iconic cultural works. We’d like to thank the team at KKR for their partnership and creating a strong foundation for Chord and its future success.”

Upon completion of the transaction, KKR will exit Chord, with the Dundee consortium and UMG owning 74.2% and 25.8%, respectively. UMG was advised in the deal by Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Freshfields, while DLA Piper and Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP served as legal advisors to Dundee.

Fifth Third Bank, National Association served as financial advisor and provided financing to Dundee and UMG. The Raine Group served as exclusive financial advisor, and Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP served as legal advisor to Chord Music Partners, while Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to KKR.

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