Nov 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

Scooter Braun sells Taylor Swift masters to Shamrock Capital

Taylor Swift performing at the Grammys.
Taylor Swift performing at the rammy Awards in 2016. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP Photo via Getty Images.

Los Angeles-based private equity firm Shamrock Capital is the mystery buyer of Taylor Swift's master recordings for her first six albums.

Between the lines: Swift has been feuding with music magnate Braun since he acquired her former record label, Big Machine, and its assets last year. It's unclear if this new transaction will satisfy Swift, who did not participate.

Earlier on Monday, Variety reported on the sale, without identifying the buyer. It put the purchase price "north of $300 million," according to a source familiar with the situation.

  • That's a heady return for Braun's media holding company Ithaca, which paid just over $300 million for all of Big Machine, whose other artists include Florida Georgia Line and Rascal Flatts.
  • The original purchase was partially financed by private equity giant The Carlyle Group, which is a minority investor in Ithaca.

Swift this evening took to social media to comment on the deal, which she says was completed without her knowledge. She added that she cannot work alongside Shamrock, since the transaction involves some sort of ongoing royalties or earn-outs for Braun and Ithaca.

In a statement, a Shamrock spokesperson told Axios:

“Taylor Swift is a transcendent artist with a timeless catalog. We made this investment because we believe in the immense value and opportunity that comes with her work. We fully respect and support her decision and, while we hoped to formally partner, we also knew this was a possible outcome that we considered. We appreciate Taylor’s open communication and professionalism with us these last few weeks. We hope to partner with her in new ways moving forward and remain committed to investing with artists in their work.”

Shamrock's predecessor firm was founded as Roy Disney's family office, but now operates independent of the Disney family. It currently is investing out of a $400 million fund, and has invested in such companies as AdWeek and FanDuel.

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