Primary Wave signs $2 billion partnership with Brookfield Asset Management

Primary Wave signs $2 billion partnership with Brookfield Asset Management

Primary Wave Music and Brookfield Asset Management have agreed a strategic partnership in a deal valued in excess of $2 billion.

Brookfield will buy a significant minority interest in Primary Wave and provide an additional $1.7 billion capital funding commitment. 

An initial acquisition of over $700 million of music rights from the company’s fund 1 and fund 2 will go into Primary Wave’s new permanent vehicle. 

Primary Wave has $300 million worth of deals previously finalised for the year to date and another $600m of pending transactions expected to be completed in 2022.

It was also announced that Creative Artists Agency will become a strategic partner and minority shareholder in Primary Wave. Brookfield and CAA, with the continued involvement of funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, will provide financial, creative and global relationships to the music rights company. 

Primary Wave’s management team will continue to control the company and will invest a majority of the Brookfield funds into the permanent capital vehicle through continued acquisition of music IP.

Primary Wave’s catalogue of music already consists of over 800 Top 10 singles, more than 400 No.1 hits, with legendary names in music including Prince, Bob Marley, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Stevie Nicks, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Bing Crosby, Def Leppard, Boston, Burt Bacharach, Olivia Newton-John and Sun Records, among many others. 

“The new funding from Brookfield, as well as their assistance on future growth initiatives and transaction structuring, will strengthen Primary Wave’s financial positioning as brand manager of legendary and iconic songs,” said a statement.

Primary Wave has several projects nearing completion, including the Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody; the James Brown A&E docu-series Say It Loud; the recently announced Melissa Etheridge off-Broadway production; the expansion of the Sun Diner; as well as the Sun Records podcast Midnight at the Sun Diner, and more.

“Brookfield is among the most intelligent and well financed deal-makers in the world,” said Larry Mestel (pictured), CEO & founder of Primary Wave Music. “What separates them from every other financially oriented investor of their size is their creativity, long-term horizon and ability to help scale unique businesses with operational expertise in addition to capital. The addition of the CAA team to the Primary Wave family provides the artistic, creative, relationship and content-creation clout unheard of in the music publishing space.”

“We are thrilled to deliver a comprehensive capital solution to Larry and the team at Primary Wave to support their continued acquisition of the world’s most iconic music IP,” said Angelo Rufino, managing partner, Brookfield. “Strong secular growth trends, scarcity value of assets and the continued penetration of music in new forms of content delivery underpin this significant commitment to the asset class.”



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