British song management company Hipgnosis said Sunday it has acquired the entire catalog of renowned Canadian singer-poet Leonard Cohen, in the latest major catalog purchase to hit the music scene.
The London-based company said it had acquired the rights to “all 278 songs and derivatives” written by Cohen, including the song “Hallelujah”, which Hipgnosis says has been covered more than 300 times and “streamed more than five billion times.”
It did not reveal what had been paid to the heirs of the Montreal songwriter, who died at the age of 82 in 2016.
Cohen’s longtime manager, Robert Kory, represented the heirs in the negotiations.
In all, 127 songs came from Cohen’s “Foreign Music” catalog, where Hipgnosis earned “songwriters’ share” royalties for songs written up to 2000.
The company said it also obtained full ownership of the copyrights and royalties for its “Old Ideas” catalog, 67 songs written from 2001 to Cohen’s death.
“To now be the caretaker and manager of Leonard Cohen’s unrivaled songs is a tremendous but very serious responsibility,” said Hipgnosis founder and CEO Merck Mercuriadis.
“Leonard wrote words and songs that have changed our lives,” said Canadian-born Mercuridis, who has managed artists including Beyonce, Elton John and Mary J. Blige.
The acquisition was made by Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a partnership between Hipgnosis Song Management and Blackstone LLP.
Hipgnosis has previously purchased a catalog of stars including American-Canadian Neil Young and alternative rocker Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Some of the top artists have sold their catalogs at impressive prices. British singer Sting sold his entire catalog in February for about $250 million, American media reported.
Bruce Springsteen last year sold his music rights to Sony for an estimated half a billion dollars, a record, while Bob Dylan sold his catalog to Universal Music for about $300 million.
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