Hipgnosis Song Management has acquired a song catalogue from TMS, the British songwriting and record production trio of Tom ‘Froe’ Barnes, Benjamin Kohn and Pete ‘Merf’ Kelleher.
Hipgnosis has acquired a 100% interest in publishing copyrights (including the writer’s share of performance), producer royalty streams and neighbouring rights for 217 Songs in the TMS catalogue. The deal includes hits such as Someone You Loved and Before you Go by Lewis Capaldi and Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself by Jess Glynne.
Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved is seven times platinum in the UK and is the UK’s most played Song of all time on Spotify. The transatlantic chart-topper is also the fourth most streamed song ever on Spotify globally having been played over 2.6 billion times.
The acquisition has been made on behalf of Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a partnership between Hipgnosis Song Management and funds managed by Blackstone.
Hipgnosis Song Management has previously acquired 121 compositions by TMS on behalf of Hipgnosis Songs Fund, including compositions recorded by G-Eazy, Sigma and Emeli Sandé. The writers’ share of those songs is included in this latest acquisition.
The trio have co-written records for a host of artists including Lewis Capaldi, Dua Lipa, John Legend, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen and Bebe Rexha, among others. They have collectively had 20 Top 10 singles, sold over 15 million records, accumulated over five billion streams and have contributed to over 50 Top 40 albums.
Hipgnosis now co-owns 90 of the 356 songs in Spotify’s Billions Club of songs played over one billion times on the platform (81 in the Hipgnosis Songs Fund and 17 in Hipgnosis Songs Capital; eight Songs are partly owned by each).
Merck Mercuriadis, chief executive and founder of Hipgnosis Song Management, said: “Froe, Ben, Merf and their manager Paul Centellas have been an important part of the Hipgnosis family for many years now so it’s fantastic that we’ve been able to continue our relationship with this new acquisition including what will undoubtedly be a contender for song of the decade with Lewis Capaldi’s iconic Someone You Loved.”
In a statement, Tom ‘Froe’ Barnes, Benjamin Kohn and Pete ‘Merf’ Kelleher (TMS), said: “We’re incredibly proud of this body of work and know Merck and the family at Hipgnosis will be excellent custodians of these copyrights in future. It’s incredible to see what they’ve built in just a few short years and we know they’ll continue to represent these songs with passion and commitment.”
Paul Centellas, of North Pole Management, said: “Nobody is doing more to elevate the standing and value of the songwriter than Merck and the team at Hipgnosis, so we’re very happy to entrust them with these incredible copyrights and look forward to working with them across various initiatives to ensure the songwriter is properly valued and remunerated in future. Without songwriters, there is no music business.”