Hipgnosis' latest acquisition is a big one: the song catalogue of Leonard Cohen.
The late Leonard Cohen was a revered songwriter, poet and novelist. Cohen was a Songwriters Hall Of Fame inductee and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductee.
Hipgnosis has acquired rights in all 278 songs and derivatives, including Hallelujah, perhaps Leonard Cohen's best known and most beloved song. It has been covered more than 300 times and sold almost 10 million copies, as well as having been streamed more than five billion times across all services.
Within this deal, 127 songs are from Leonard Cohen’s Stranger Music catalogue, for which Hipgnosis has acquired the songwriter’s share of royalties. It covers the period from the inception of his career through to the year 2000 and includes all derivative works, making a total of 211 songs. Cohen had a long relationship with Sony Music Publishing, which continues to control the publisher's share.
Hipgnosis has also acquired the ownership of 100% of the copyrights (publisher’s share and songwriter’s share) of royalties in the Old Ideas catalogue, which consists of all 67 songs plus derivative works written by Leonard Cohen from 2001 until his death, at age 82, in 2016.
The acquisition has been made on behalf of Hipgnosis Songs Capital ICAV, a partnership between Hipgnosis Song Management and investment firm Blackstone.
The Cohen Estate was represented by longtime Leonard Cohen manager, Robert Kory, KR Capital Partners and Jonathan Friedman at Stubbs, Alderton and Markiles LLP.
Merck Mercuriadis, founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Song Management, said: “To now be the custodians and managers of Leonard Cohen’s incomparable songs is a wonderful yet very serious responsibility that we approach with excitement and fully understand the importance of. Leonard wrote words and songs that have changed our lives, none more so obvious than Hallelujah but there are so many more that we look forward to reminding the world of on a daily basis. He is revered all over the globe because of the magnitude of his work and we are delighted that the Cohen family and Robert Kory have chosen Hipgnosis in this most important decision of who to entrust with Leonard’s legacy. We welcome them to the Hipgnosis’ family and look forward to working together to honour the songs of the great Leonard Cohen.”
Robert Kory said: "Merck Mercuriadis is unique in the music publishing world with his background as an artist manager. We know he cares about artists, and as a Québécois he has a particularly deep appreciation of Leonard's unique status in popular music. The catalogue is in good hands. The Hipgnosis team has been a pleasure to work with throughout the transaction."