HgCapital sells Boosey & Hawkes

HgCapital has sold Boosey & Hawkes, the classical music publishing rights group, to Imagem Music, the music publishing fund of Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and CP Masters and one of Europe’s leading independent music publishers, for about £126m (€157m).

HgCapital acquired Boosey & Hawkes, then a public company, in December 2003 for £75m. Since then, HgCapital has supported Boosey & Hawkes in outsourcing a number of non-core activities, such as printing and distribution, and developed a series of new revenue streams.

In particular it has developed a strong presence in the market for music in advertising and film, where revenues are currently growing by about 30% per annum. Ebitda grew from £3.3m in 2003 to £6.8m last year.

The company controls the rights to more than 116,000 works of music and choreography from many of the world’s most famous classical composers, including Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Benjamin Britten and Prokofiev. It also works with many renowned living composers, such as Peter Maxwell Davies, Karl Jenkins, John Adams and Steve Reich.

During HgCapital ownership it has made six acquisitions that have moved it into new areas such as tango and jazz, including signings with composer/performers such as Wynton Marsalis. The existing management team led by chief executive John Minch will be retained.

Imagem Music also recently acquired various music rights catalogues from Universal Music Group, such as Zomba UK, Rondor UK, 19 Music and the greatest part of the BBC catalogue.

HgCapital was advised in this transaction by Close Brothers Corporate Finance and Weil Gotshal & Manges. APG was advised by ABN AMRO Bank, Herbert Smith and Statham Gill Davies Solicitors.