| 19 Apr 2024
Universal Music Group acquires stake in chord music partners for $240 Million, expanding catalog portfolio and collaborative opportunities in the music industry

MUMBAI: Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's largest music company, has acquired a 25.8% stake in Chord Music Partners for $240 million.

Under the agreement, UMG will assume distribution and publishing administration responsibilities for Chord's extensive catalog, managed by UMG's Virgin Music Group and Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG). Established in 2021 by KKR and Dundee Partners, the investment arm of the Hendel family, Chord boasts ownership of over 60,000 copyrights.

Notable titles in their catalog include hits like "Dreams" and "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, "La Grange" by ZZ Top, "Counting Stars" and "Apologize" by OneRepublic, "Redbone" by Childish Gambino, "I Like Me Better" by Lauv, "Pursuit of Happiness" by Kid Cudi, "All Of Me" by John Legend, "Girls Like You" and "Sugar" by Maroon 5, "Halo" by Beyonce, and "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri.

Following the transaction's completion, KKR will exit Chord, where it previously held the majority stake. Dundee will now increase its ownership to 74.2%, while UMG will hold the remaining minority share. UMG received advisory services from Goldman Sachs, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Freshfields, while Dundee was advised by DLA Piper and Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP.

Fifth Third Bank, National Association acted as financial advisor and provided committed financing to Dundee and UMG. The Raine Group served as the exclusive financial advisor to Chord, with legal counsel provided by Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP.

Latham & Watkins LLP represented KKR. Lucian Grainge, chairman/CEO of UMG, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership with Chord, emphasizing their shared commitment to identifying iconic songs and recordings.

Boyd Muir, UMG executive vp/CFO/president of operations, highlighted the benefits of the collaboration, including the high-quality catalog assembled by KKR and Dundee, as well as future opportunities for catalog acquisitions.

Sam Hendel, managing principal/co-founder of Dundee Partners, voiced excitement about partnering with UMG, describing the collaboration as an exciting new chapter for Chord. Jenny Box, partner at KKR, expressed gratitude for the collaboration and expressed confidence in Dundee and UMG's ability to drive further value for artists.

In summary, the partnership between UMG and Chord represents an opportunity to leverage Chord's extensive catalog and UMG's global capabilities to create long-term value for artists and stakeholders in the music industry.