Primary Wave Receives a $2 billion Brookfield investment, sells a minority stake in CARE and acquires a stake in the Joey Ramone catalog


Primary Wave received a multibillion-dollar investment from Brookfield Asset Management (along with smaller “strategic” investments from CAA) and acquired a stake in the catalog of Ramones frontman Joey Ramon.

This morning, the 16-year-old Primary Wave company unveiled its agreements with Brookfield and CAA, as well as Joey Ramon’s work contract. Starting with Brookfield’s investments with headquarters in Toronto and New York, the company acquired a “significant minority stake” in Primary Wave, which by this point in 2022 had received part of the catalogs of Bob Dylan, Julian Casablancas and Def Leppard. to name some.

The said “significant minority stake” is part of a “deal worth more than $2 billion,” according to Primary Wave executives, with Brookfield taking on “an additional $1.7 billion capital financing commitment” in addition to a partial buyout.

Primary Wave’s existing management “will continue to control the company,” the executives said, and will invest “most of Brookfield’s funds” in the newly created “permanent capital.” First, Primary Wave intends to provide this capital instrument with “the rights to cult music worth more than $ 700 million from the company’s fund 1 and fund 2,” the business said.

Further, as for the details of the multi-faceted announcements, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) itself took over a “minority strategic stake” in Primary Wave. The exact financial figures of the investment have not been publicly disclosed, but company officials are touting the broader significance of the project, given the “continued involvement of funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management,” which Brookfield describes as a “branch.”
Finally, Primary Wave quietly noted that by this point in 2022, it had spent more than $300 million on catalog deals — with plans to complete a staggering $600 million in “pending transactions” by the end of the year.

Speaking about his firm’s support for Primary Wave, Brookfield managing partner Angelo Rufino touched on the perceived long-term potential of song rights, despite current market conditions and economic instability.

“We are very excited to provide a comprehensive capital solution to Larry [Mestel, founder and CEO of Primary Wave] and the Primary Wave team to support their continued acquisition of the world’s most iconic music intellectual property,” Rufino said. “Strong long-term growth trends, scarce asset values, and the continued penetration of music into new forms of content delivery reinforce this significant commitment to the asset class.”

Moving on to Primary Wave’s acquisition of Joey Ramon’s catalog, the deal includes “revenue from songs from the band’s musical repertoire” and “non-exclusive rights to license Joey Ramon’s name and image,” the buyer said.

Among the numerous tracks involved, the punk rock legend participated in such Ramones classics as “Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio?”, “Rockaway Beach” and “I Wanna Be Sedated”, to name just a few. And in a statement, the “brother and sole heir” of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member made it clear that he wants to work with Primary Wave to further develop Joey Ramon’s legacy.

“I am delighted to welcome Primary Wave as a partner on behalf of my brother in the Ramones,” said Mickey Lee, who earlier this year released an album titled Variations of Vibe on Little Steven’s Wicked Cool Records label. “I am fully convinced of their desire to perpetuate his legacy and of their sincerity in doing so in a way that will never jeopardize his credibility. I’m really looking forward to working with them.”

The catalogues of Genesis, Blake Shelton and Avicii works have also been sold out in the past week or so.


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