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Katy Perry sells catalog rights to Litmus Music

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Sep 18, 2023

Katy Perry performs at the Coronation Concert on May 7. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Katy Perry has sold the rights to the five albums she released with Capitol Records between 2008 and 2020 to Carlyle Group-backed Litmus Music for $225 million, Billboard reports.

Why it matters: The deal continues the boom in music catalog sales even as other M&A is down.

Details: The master recording royalties Perry is parting with include the 2010 album "Teenage Dream," which tied Michael Jackson for having five songs from one album reach No. 1.

  • Founded by veteran music executives Hank Forsyth and Dan McCarroll, Litmus Music launched in 2022 with a $500 million funding commitment from Carlyle Global Credit, per Variety.
  • Perry has had a longstanding relationship with McCarroll since he was named president of Capitol Records in 2010, according to the press release.
  • "Katy Perry is a creative visionary who has made a major impact across music, TV, film, and philanthropy. I'm so honored to be partnering with her again and to help Litmus manage her incredible repertoire," McCarroll said in a statement.

The big picture: Private equity firms have been buying up music rights. Interest rates and capital gains tax being low led to the rise in catalog sales, waking up the investment community to the opportunity, music attorney Lisa Alter told Axios earlier this year.

  • John Legend sold to BMG and KKR, Bruce Springsteen sold to Sony Music Entertainment and Justin Bieber sold to Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital — to name a few.
  • Not every firm is thriving in the market, however. Hipgnosis Songs Fund said last week it will sell two segments of its song catalog for about $465 million in total to pay down its debt.
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