Dr. Dre Sells Catalog Rights to Universal Music Group, Shamrock Announces $200 Million Deal


It is reported that Dr. Dre has sold a significant portion of its music rights — at a very attractive price —to Shamrock Holdings and Universal Music Group.

Outrageous deals to acquire music intellectual property stopped last year, although not completely. At the end of 22, there were rumors about an expensive deal between Justin Bieber and the Hipgnosis Song Capital company founded by Blackstone. Now those who “forgot about Dre” in the madness of acquiring intellectual property are reminded of his lucrative catalogs.

According to information that appeared on Wednesday evening (January 11), Dre’s assets are reportedly being sold for more than $200 million, with the auction being conducted by Shamrock Holdings and Universal Music Group.

The deals appear to be separate, although more details are expected to appear within the next 24-48 hours. Billboard estimated the total acquisition price at $200 million, and Variety brought it closer to $250 million. The distribution of ownership between the companies is unclear at this stage. And what exactly is included in these deals also remains unknown, although, as reported, we are talking about Dr. Dre’s venerable solo albums and the rights to N.W.A. releases.

It is also worth noting that the buyer in question may be Shamrock Capital Advisors, not Shamrock Holdings. These organizations are related, but are separate, and Shamrock Capital is the successor to Shamrock Holdings — a detail that is often confused. In November 2020, Shamrock Capital acquired the complex rights to Taylor Swift’s recorded music catalog from Ithaca Holdings Scooter Braun and the Carlyle Group investment group.

It is also unclear whether Dre’s rights to the rap classics The Chronic are taken into account when acquiring them. The album remains a revered classic decades after its release and a cornerstone of the history of hip-hop and gangsta rap.

Of course, Dr. Dre is a legendary hip—hop producer, which introduces another portfolio of rights. In his diverse catalog, Dre could carry a publication, a record, an author’s share or any combination of them. Billboard and Variety have estimated that Dr. Dre’s holdings in the game generate an annual revenue of $10 million, which makes the price of $200-250 million a multiple of 20-25 times the foam.

It reminds me of the old days— that is, of the world about a year ago.
These days, the biggest bull in the race, Hipgnosis, is mostly silent, and mega-acquisitions are rare. Illustrative example: rumors about the acquisition of the Pink Floyd catalog for $ 500 million did not materialize, despite months of speculation. Even rumors about the acquisition of Bieber have not yet been confirmed.

That would make the deal with Dre doubly impressive if it went through.

Moreover, it is developing.


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