Hipgnosis Songs Fund completes $23m sale of 'non-core' songs at 14% discount

FundDec 12, 2023

Hipgnosis Songs Fund (SONG) has completed the sale of a portfolio of "non-core" songs in order to reduce its revolving credit facility drawings.

SONG sold approximately 20,000 "non-core songs" for $23.1m, representing around 1% of the trust's value, according to an RNS notice.

According to SONG, the assets sold at a 14.2% discount to the valuation the trust's independent valuer placed on them as of 30 September 2023.

The trust is currently trading on a 54.95% discount to its net asset value, according to data from the Association of Investment Companies.

It said the net proceeds of the sale were equal to approximately $22.6m, which management said will be allocated to its revolving credit facility in an effort to provide the trust with "greater headroom under its future covenant compliance reporting".

The deal comes following the collapse of a sale worth $465m to Hipgnosis Songs Capital, the Blackstone-backed private fund managed by SONG investment adviser Hipgnosis Song Management.

Both the publicly-listed SONG and the private $1bn Blackstone vehicle Hipgnosis Songs Capital are advised by the Merck Mercuriadis-run Hipgnosis Song Management.

The deal fell apart, however, when SONG's shareholders voted against trust's continuation.

It was noted the songs offloaded in the new sale require "time intensive, ongoing accounting and reporting obligations and do not all have perpetual ownership rights... [and] their eventual sale was part of the company's acquisition strategy".

Peel Hunt analyst Anthony Leatham highlighted that having failed its continuation vote and since embarking upon a strategic review, the trust's dividend continues to be suspended.

He said: "This most recent disposal will not help with sentiment towards the valuation of the SONG portfolio".

New adviser

In addition to the sale, the trust has appointed Singer Capital Markets as its sole corporate broker and financial adviser.

It has also hired Shot Tower Capital as lead adviser to conduct due diligence on the company's assets as part of its strategic review.  

SONG will release its financial results for the six months to 30 September 2023 on Tuesday 19 December

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