Neil Young has sold a 50% share of his 1,180-song catalogue to Hipgnosis Songs Fund in a deal worth an estimated $150m, according to the BBC.
The fast-rising company, founded by former Sanctuary CEO and Elton John manager Merck Mercuriadis, has made music industry headlines over the last couple of years by buying up the catalogues of major artists such as Blondie, Chic and Steve Winwood.
Earlier this week, Hipgnosis acquired 100% of Lindsey Buckingham’s 161-song catalogue, including hits he wrote for Fleetwood Mac.
Hipgnosis makes money when its songs are used in TV, films, adverts and other ‘sync’ deals, but Mercuriadis claims that this imperative won’t clash with Neil Young’s staunchly anti-commercial stance: “I built Hipgnosis to be a company Neil would want to be a part of,” he said. “We have a common integrity, ethos and passion born out of a belief in music and these important songs. There will never be a ‘Burger Of Gold’, but we will work together to make sure everyone gets to hear them on Neil’s terms.”
Last month, Universal Music Group bought 100% of Bob Dylan’s catalogue of over 600 songs for a figure believed to be upwards of $200m, the biggest publishing deal ever.