NEW YORK — Investment firm New Mountain Capital on Thursday completed its previously announced acquisition of the world’s largest performing rights organization, Broadcast Music, Inc., as the deal received the necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals required for closing.
“Our partnership with New Mountain charts an incredibly exciting new course for BMI and our songwriters, composers and publishers,” said Mike O’Neill, who will remain President/CEO of BMI. “New Mountain shares our vision to build value for our affiliates and invest in their future success. With their support, advanced level of innovation and resources, we are now in the best possible position to accelerate our growth plan and explore new opportunities to benefit our creative community.”
Pete Masucci, Managing Director at New Mountain, commented, “We are thrilled to officially begin our partnership with BMI. We believe in BMI’s mission and the music creators they represent, and we are looking forward to helping BMI build on their momentum to deliver maximum value to their affiliates.”
Mike Oshinsky, a Director at New Mountain, added, “Mike O’Neill and his team have set a dynamic path forward for BMI. We are excited to help modernize the performing rights space and support BMI’s mission of serving songwriters, composers and publishers and growing their royalty distributions for the long-term.”
As part of the transaction, and in recognition of the creativity of the songwriters, composers and publishers they have had the privilege to represent, BMI’s former shareholders will be allocating $100 million of the proceeds of the sale to affiliates.
The allocation of those funds is expected to be made this spring. While not a distribution of royalties, the allocation will be in keeping with BMI’s distribution methodologies, which are based on performance levels over a set period of time.
In related news, Houston U.S. bankruptcy court judge Christopher Lopez on Wednesday signed off on a motion filed on February 1 by Audacy Inc. authorizing the company to enter into a settlement agreement with the music rights organization and Otis Parent Inc.
Audacy holds shares of BMI stock, and as such will be paid out for its equity stake in the rights company. However, a dispute over royalty payments owned to BMI by the radio station owner had been unresolved for several years. Now, a $25.4 million payment for its stock in BMI is coming.
An additional $3.44 million is in play, too, as is a $10.14 million payment; these are pending claims.
Additionally, Audacy is agreeing to pay BMI $550,000 in full settlement of claims the company has been in dispute over for the last several years.