KKR joined a food frenzy for lucrative song rights after agreeing to buy a controlling stake in the catalog from songwriter Ryan Tedder who wrote hits for Beyoncé, Adele, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.
Mr. Tedder, alongside Max Martin and Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, is one of the many professional hitmakers behind some of the most successful songs of the streaming age. Its catalog includes nearly 500 songs sold over 420 million copies, or the equivalent of 63 billion streams, according to KKR. No financial details of the transaction have been disclosed.
The value of older catalogs has exploded over the past five years, with the age of streaming giving hit songs new life. A number of specialist funds have sprung up to reclaim rights that have become more valuable as services such as Spotify and Apple Music have gained momentum, sparking multiple deals as many artists decide to cash in.
One of the best known, ranked in London Hipgnose, has spent over £ 1.2 billion on acquisitions. It competes with other funds such as Round Hill and Primary Wave as well as the major music labels, which own the rights to millions of songs.
KKR has become another investor on the scene.
The New York-based band, which made the investment through their Dislocation Opportunities Fund, have targeted music in the past. He was an original investor in music company BMG when it was relaunched in 2009, former DJ equipment maker AlphaTheta and now owner of guitar maker Gibson.
Mr. Tedder’s Patriot Management and Artist Development Company mtheory will retain a minority stake in the songwriter’s back catalog. Interscope Records, owned by Universal Music, will retain the rights to the masters of its group OneRepublic.
KKR said it will work to expand the reach of Mr. Tedder’s music through its network of digital investments. The private equity group also has stakes in ByteDance, owner of TikTok, Jio Platforms in India and Epic Games, game maker Fortnite.
“Streaming and all forms of digital content not only provide new avenues for the way we consume music, but also for how artists can reach new audiences in a much more immersive way,” Mr. Tedder in a press release.