The business pages are being very bullish about music investment fund, Hipgnosis, and their plans to raise $200m to “invest in songs by the likes of Beyoncé and Justin Bieber”. The story is that, after an aborted IPO last year, the fund set up by Merck Mercuriadis (“who ran Sanctuary Group before it was sold to Universal Music… and managed the likes of Sir Elton John”) has apparently lined up new brokers.
Sounds all well and good, but we’ll believe it when we see it. Hipgnosis Songs was only set up last summer, and has yet to file any accounts or anything. It seems to have been preceded by a company called Hipgnosis Music, which was based above what looks like a kebab shop in the north London suburbs and went into compulsory liquidation a few months ago.
As for Sanctuary Group, it was indeed sold to Universal in 2007 – but only because it had been (mis)run into the ground and needed saving. And Sir Elton John, who everyone is so keen to mention in the coverage? He and Merck parted ways rather quickly…
Ex-Sanctuary staff are scratching their heads at the idea of anyone wanting to hand over any more money.