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HIPGNOSIS SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE BLACKSTONE BID

Blackstone's $2.2b bid for Hipgnosis Songs Fund ($1.6b plus $600m in debt) won near-unanimous approval from shareholders Tuesday (7/8), assuaging fears that a group of hedge funds were planning to leverage a potential blocking stake.

Thanks to yes votes from 99.7% of shareholders, Blackstone now owns both Hipgnosis Songs Fund and Hipgnosis Songs Capital, which is also known as Hipgnosis Songs Assets. HSA's song catalogs include Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Leonard Cohen and Kenny Chesney.

HSF and HSA will retain Hipgnosis Song Management as their investment adviser. The latter is overseen by CEO Ben Katovsky, who will assume greater responsibility in the wake of Merck Mercuriadis' stepping down as chairman.

As part of the deal, which is expected to close by mid-August, Blackstone may in the next six to nine months sell or restructure Hipgnosis Songs Group LLC, Hipgnosis’ U.S. songs-admin business. The entity was previously known as Big Deal Music and was acquired by HSF in September 2020.

Yesterday's vote concludes a rocky stretch for HSF, which earlier this year undertook a comprehensive strategic review at the urging of shareholders.

The full HSF/London Stock Exchange filing can be read here.

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