Private equity titan Blackstone raises bid for Hipgnosis music fund to 103p a share

On song: Hipgnosis, which owns the rights to catalogues from the likes of Beyonce (pictured), at £1.25bn

A private equity titan has sweetened its offer for Hipgnosis as it tries to get a takeover deal over the line.

Blackstone upped its offer to 103p a share – valuing the music group, which owns the rights to catalogues from the likes of Beyonce and Blondie, at £1.25billion. 

This was slightly above the 102p a share the New York-based group agreed to pay in April. Blackstone has also said it will switch the deal to a so-called ‘scheme of arrangement’ which requires a higher threshold of shareholder support but makes the process faster.

Under these rules, the private equity firm will need 75 per cent of shareholder approval, far more than the 55 per cent backing it previously had to rally. 

The latest offer follows months of uncertainty at Hipgnosis, which has been at the centre of a bidding war between Blackstone and US music group Concord, which had made its own £1.1billion swoop. 

And if the deal goes ahead, it will mean London will lose another FTSE 250 company.

Hipgnosis was co-founded in 2018 by Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis, who previously managed artists including Morrissey, Iron Maiden, Pet Shop Boys and Sir Elton John.

The business earns royalties every time a song whose rights it owns is played.

But its catalogues have declined in value over the past two years as interest rate hikes bite.