Exclusive: Alexi Cory-Smith reveals major deals and long-term strategy for Bella Figura Music

Exclusive: Alexi Cory-Smith reveals major deals and long-term strategy for Bella Figura Music

Alexi Cory-Smith has given her first interview to announce the plans for new music rights company Bella Figura Music.

In an exclusive interview in the latest edition of Music Week, the former BMG UK leader reveals her ambitions for the start-up based in London’s Soho. Cory-Smith co-founded Bella Figura with former BMG colleague Neelesh Prabhu, who heads up the investments team.

With significant private equity backing from Freshstream, Bella Figura Music has already invested more than $50 million in acquiring rights for catalogues across publishing, master recordings and neighbouring rights. And that is just the start, as the company targets further acquisitions in the years ahead.

Bella Figura has so far acquired long-term interests in catalogues by David Gray and Guy Chambers - both artists that Cory-Smith worked with at BMG - and DJ/producer R3hab, among others. You can read the full details on those and other deals in the new edition of Music Week.

The company’s first deal in 2021 was for a catalogue of around 25 songs by LA-based Darrell Brown, whose credits include songs by LeAnn Rimes and Keith Urban.

Bella Figura has entered the booming rights business following a period of consolidation and acquisition in music publishing, including the sale of Songs Music Publishing, Downtown’s catalogue to Concord and Kobalt to investment firm Francisco Partners.

CEO Alexi Cory-Smith told Music Week that Bella Figura has a“boutique approach, but with a big focus around the metadata, the copyright, and actually managing the assets we own”.

We would like to have a US base… That would be a very interesting target for us

Alexi Cory-Smith

The experienced executive had a successful spell at BMG, which she joined in its early days in 2011 and then rose to the top of the UK business as it experienced significant growth. Following her exit, she has been quietly working on Bella Figura for the last few years - the interview in Music Week is the first time Cory-Smith has gone public with her plans.

As the team grows in the UK, Cory-Smith is also considering US expansion. She was at the Grammys during a trip to LA last week.

“We would like to have a US base,” she told Music Week. “So [that would mean] buying a company in the US, buying an existing platform with a great principal that’s really strong on administration, because it’s far more complex in America than anywhere else and there are people that are very good at it.

“That would be a very interesting target for us. I would like to buy a business in America, it would be good to have boots on the ground in the US. But what we don’t want is a very admin-heavy business, with lots of low margin [data] churn that’s difficult to manage. Ours is more high net worth, high revenue generating.”

Pick up the new edition of Music Week (out February 14) for the exclusive interview with Alexi Cory-Smith and details of Bella Figura’s deals so far.


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