The sale of the catalog of Pink Floyd is complicated

Posted Oct 10, 2022, 4:33 PMUpdated Oct 10, 2022, 5:34 PM

The composer of “Another Brick in the Wall” likes to throw cobblestones into the pond. But with his explosive interview with Rolling Stone magazine on October 4, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters did not facilitate the sale of the group’s catalog, valued at more than 500 million dollars. According to “Variety”, his acerbic remarks on the United States, Israel or his conviction of appearing on a list of men to be killed by Ukraine would have deterred at least one potential buyer.

Launched in May, the sale was already progressing slowly. If the details are known only to the bidders, according to “Variety”, in addition to the recording rights, the use of the name, the image of the group and the works of art of the albums would be offered. According to the “Financial Times”, the disagreements between the members, in particular on the tax structure of the operation – Roger Waters being American resident, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and the heirs of Richard Wright living in the United Kingdom -, would block the process.

Five buyers would be in the running

This must resume once the question has been clarified, explains the British daily, according to which the bidders have requested the intervention of a mediator between the Pink Floyd. Contacted, the organizer of the sale, Patrick McKenna, declined to comment. For Pink Floyd, all over 75 years old, and the heirs of Richard Wright, the keyboardist who died in 2008, the operation nevertheless makes sense. “Better to sell before the death of one of them, an inheritance would quickly become complex”, insists Alice Enders, founder of Enders Analysis.

Five buyers would be in the running: the majors Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, the publishers BMG (backed by KKR) and Primary Wave, and the fund Hipgnosis Songs Capital, backed by Blackstone. The catalog of Pink Floyd, with 75 million albums sold in the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of America, is one of the largest on the market. The group hopes to recover as much as Bob Dylan, who would have received around 500 million dollars for the sale of his copyrights at the end of 2020 then that of his recording rights in January 2022, and Bruce Springsteen (the same sum for all his musical rights).

A less favorable market

At the end of September, Phil Collins and Genesis also sold those of their titles for 300 million dollars, according to the “Wall Street Journal”. Like these artists, the Pink Floyd are part of the “evergreen” musicians, always green: “They are like these trees which never lose their leaves, because each generation loves them”, slips Alice Enders. Music platforms willingly put them forward, which explains the appetite of buyers, attracted by the prospect of regular income.

But the context is less favorable than for the sales of the Dylan and Springsteen catalogs. “The rates were very low, for the buyer, borrowing at 5 or 6% rather than 2 or 3%, that changes the situation,” says Alice Enders. To the point of considering a price drop? ” It’s possible “, supports the expert, for whom Pink Floyd have waited too long. In their song “Money”, they sang about money: “Share it fairly, but don’t take a slice of my pie” . The whole point is there.

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The sale of the catalog of Pink Floyd is complicated

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