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Music publisher Kobalt's owner Francisco Partners plans acquisitions

Kerry Flynn
Sep 8, 2022
Illustration of a pencil writing sheet music with dollar and cents symbols
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Music publisher Kobalt's sale to Francisco Partners opens the door for more acquisitions across the music industry.

Why it matters: The new owner intends to grow Kobalt through more purchases amid a wave of artists selling their rights to music catalogs.

Driving the news: Kobalt agreed to sell a controlling stake in its business to the San Francisco-based investment firm. The company also said it received investments from MUSIC and Dundee Partners.

  • Francisco Partners' Mario Razzini said, "We believe Kobalt is and should be the premier platform for independent creators, and we look forward to helping them achieve this both organically and inorganically."

What they're saying: Music Business Worldwide reported that future purchases by Kobalt and its new private equity partner could involve music catalogs and related companies.

Details: Francisco Partners' controlling stake is about 90%, and Kobalt's buyout was worth $750 million, according to Music Business Worldwide.

  • Kobalt serves more than 700,000 songs and represents Stevie Nicks, Phoebe Bridgers, The Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney and many more.

Flashback: Kobalt sold two subsidiaries — recorded music distributor AWAL and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights — for $430 million to Sony Music Entertainment last year.

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