Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

Private equity firm Blackstone to buy US collecting society SESAC

By | Published on Thursday 5 January 2017


Your best buds over at private equity outfit Blackstone have bought themselves a little performing rights organisation to play with this year. Which will be especially nice once spring is here and everyone’s playing sports in the park. I know that’s when I usually get my PRO out of the cupboard and take it to the park to play.

Anyway, yes, the owner of US collecting society SESAC – which, unlike many collective management organisations, is privately owned – announced yesterday that it is selling the rights body to Blackstone.

Current owner Rizvi Traverse Management bought into SESAC back in 2013, and the big development since that time has been SESAC’s acquisition of the Harry Fox Agency, meaning it now reps both the performing and mechanical rights in songs.

SESAC says the change of ownership, which should complete in the first quarter of this year, won’t have any noticeable impact on its operations or ongoing evolution. The acquisition is also apparently part of Blackstone’s plan to hold onto some of its assets longer than is the norm in the private equity domain.

Says SESAC CEO John Josephson: “Blackstone is acquiring our company with the specific intent of backing the existing management team, and shares our long-term vision for the company with a history of adding value to their portfolio companies as a supportive strategic partner and capital provider. We anticipate a seamless transition in ownership with no disruption to our business activities as a result of this transaction”.

Meanwhile the MD of Blackstone’s private equity flim flam, David Kestnbaum, added: “We view SESAC as an attractive fit for our core private equity investment platform and are pleased to partner with the company’s experienced, highly capable management team to help support their growth strategy over the long term to continue to serve their key affiliate and licensee constituents”.