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Hipgnosis Songs Fund: striking a bum note?

Music royalties offer different types of exposure but also different risks
Hipgnosis Songs Fund: striking a bum note?
  • Music royalties funds are gaining in popularity with Hipgnosis Songs Fund's market cap now over £1bn
  • The investment case for music royalties funds is strong but they come with several risks

The grey world of finance appeared to brighten in the summer of 2018 with the arrival of Hipgnosis Songs Fund (SONG). Led by industry veteran Merck Mercuriadis, a portfolio with Journey's Don't stop believin' among its assets added some colour to a world dominated by earnings ratios and other sober metrics.

This music royalties fund, which seeks to receive and build on the income generated from songs, has successfully issued equity several times since then, helping to take its market capitalisation past £1bn and elevating it into the FTSE 250 index. Hipgnosis Songs has acquired many assets, for example, in the first full week of 2021 its board announced three catalogue acquisitions, which include the work of Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac musician Lindsey Buckingham, and Jimmy Iovine who has worked with U2 and Eminem.

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