Billboard’s Ed Christman rounds-up all the big news in the music publishing world.
— Sony/ATV Music Publishing have signed superstar producer Calvin Harris to an extension of its long-term worldwide publishing deal. Moreover, the deal includes a partnership in Harris’ record label, Fly Eye.
“We are thrilled to be extending our long-running relationship with Calvin Harris who stands as a true musical phenomenon of our age,” Sony/ATV chairman and CEO Martin Bandier said in a statement. “He is an international chart-topping recording artist, a hugely talented songwriter with a gift for coming up with global hit after global hit, often by himself, and he remains one of the world’s most successful DJs. If he could also learn to strike the ball like Lionel Messi I’d want to come back as him in my next life.”
In addition to his own hits like “Feel So Close” and “Summer,” Harris has written or co-written for artists Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Ellie Goulding, Mary J. Blige, Florence Welch, Kylie Minogue and many others.
“Sony ATV have been a great publisher and now partner to Calvin and Fly Eye,” said Harris’ manager Mark Gillespie at Three Six Zero Group.
— In another move, Sony/ATV Music have signed a worldwide co-publishing deal with Canadian duo Tegan and Sara. The agreement covers all seven of the sisters’ studio album releases and will also take in songs from their next album, which they are expected to begin writing early next year.
“Tegan and Sara are two of the premiere songwriters and iconic artists of the past decade,” Sony/ATV senior creative director Tyler Childs said in a statement. “We’re so excited to dive into their extensive catalogue and collaborate on future co-writing opportunities.”
So far the duo’s catalog has scanned 934,000 units in the U.S.; its most recent album, Heartthrob debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 for the week ending Feb. 3, 2013.
In addition to songs for their own albums, Tegan and Sara said in a statement they also intend to expand their “unique songwriting brand with co-writes and toplines for other artists.”
Previously, the band’s management administered the duo’s publishing. As such, Amelia Artists co-founder and managing director Piers Henwood said in a statement, “W ne had a clear set of expectations for what we wanted in a global partner. Sony/ATV was able to check all these boxes, and we’re excited to have a passionate staff there to help steward and grow Tegan and Sara’s songwriting legacy.”
— Toronto-based music publisher ole has replenished its war chest, tapping another $50 million credit line. The additional funding comes as an add-on to the $135 million credit line ole obtained in Oct. 2013 from a bank syndicate.
When ole made its presentations to banks for the initial round of financing, the deal was over subscribed. That means that putting a deal together for the additional $50 million in financing was an easy option to exercise.
The joint lead arrangers of the facility were Atlanta-based SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. and New York-based J.P. Morgan Securities LLC. SunTrust Bank served as administrative agent for the facility and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. acted as syndication agent, with CIT Financial LLC and Fifth Third Bank as co-documentation agents. Avenue Bank, City National Bank and OneWest Bank also participated in the facility.
“After the rush acquisition, we could see ourselves needing to tap into the full facility,” ole executive VP, acquisitions Ed Killin said in a statement. “Our financiers also agreed to reload the $50-million-available accordion option for future requirements.”
The extra funds are needed because the company says it will continue to pursue an aggressive acquisitions strategy.
— In another move, ole signed separate publishing deals with Joey + Rory, also known as Rory Feek and his wife Joey Martin. The Feek deal includes future compositions and more than 200 works, including such hits songs as “Some Beach” and “A Little More Country Than That.” He has also written songs for Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Mark Wills, Terri Clark, Clay Walker, Trisha Yearwood and many others.
Meanwhile, the deal with Martin is global in scope and for writer administration and includes her catalog. In addition, ole obtained the digital rights to the pair’s RFD TV variety show, The Joey+Rory Show.
“Rory’s back catalog first came to ole in 2010 as part of our Blacktop Music Group acquisition; now, we’re happy to welcome him to our roster of active writers,” ole VP, corporate affairs and development Gilles Godard said in a statement. “While he’s already had quite a bit of success, his career is just getting started and we’re looking forward to taking this journey with him as we expand his reach in the digital world and explore new opportunities for his ever-expanding catalog.”