Concord outbids Blackstone for Hipgnosis Songs Fund

Concord reignites bidding war for Hipgnosis with sweetened offer.

The bidding war for Hipgnosis Songs Fund (LSE: SONG) intensified on Thursday as Apollo-backed Concord sweetened its cash offer to $1.25 per share, topping a previous $1.24 per share proposal from private equity giant Blackstone.

Shares of Hipgnosis, which owns music rights of artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Journey and Neil Young, climbed 1.1% at the open on Concord’s revised $1.51 billion bid.

Concord’s new offer follows its initial $1.16 per share agreement last week to acquire the music rights investment fund, before Blackstone made a higher weekend bid.

While Concord has now formalised its superior proposal, Blackstone has yet to officially table a firm bid under UK takeover rules.

Complicating matters, Blackstone holds a majority stake in Hipgnosis Songs Management (HSM), the external adviser that manages the fund’s artist and songwriter catalogues. HSM also has a call option to potentially buy out Hipgnosis’ song portfolio if its advisory deal is terminated.

The takeover battle erupted after a shareholder vote against fund continuation last year prompted a strategic review, board overhaul and valuation dispute with HSM at Hipgnosis, which was founded by industry veteran Merck Mercuriadis in 2018.

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