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Billy Joel Examined Tune Catalog Sale at File-Excessive Multiples

In October, Billy Joel acknowledged that he had obtained provides for his prized track catalog, however he joked he wasn’t considering promoting for something in need of what can be an astronomical sum — as a result of he desires to retain management over how his songs are used when licensed in commercials, TV and movies.

Nonetheless, sources say that after receiving inquiries in regards to the catalog, Joel’s representatives actively examined the waters by reaching out to potential suitors to extra broadly assess curiosity ranges.

In an interview with Howard Stern final October, Joel conceded that he would possibly promote his track catalog if he was supplied $1 billion — a value Stern advised as a valuation for his songs. “I don’t know who would pay that but when somebody supplied me $1 billion…what am I gonna say, no?” he mentioned. “I’m from Levittown.”

Whereas Joel could not agree his track catalog is value $1 billion, sources say that Joel’s representatives examined to see what the market was keen to bear, with a pricing suggestion described by quite a few music asset consumers as fairly presumably the best valuation ever for a track catalog — a minimum of on a a number of foundation.

In response to these sources, Joel’s representatives procuring the catalog included his agent Dennis Arfa.

But it surely’s unclear how far that effort went. Sources point out Joel’s reps have been armed with an annual income quantity and an anticipated bidding value however hadn’t ready extra in depth knowledge.

Joel’s representatives say the catalog is just not up on the market. “At the moment the [Billy Joel] catalog is just not available on the market,” Arfa mentioned in an e-mail. And one other supply aware of the proceedings disputes the characterization that the Joel catalog was ever up on the market.

Along with his songwriter share, Joel owns publishing of his track catalog, too, having obtained it as a gift from his then-label head, the late Walter Yetnikoff. The CBS Information president had induced an early supervisor of Joel, who had locked up the publishing as a part of his managerial contract with the artist, to relinquish management of the Piano Man’s publishing, in accordance with quite a few press reviews on the time.

Throughout his profession, Joel, who’s the only real songwriter of 99.5% of all of his songs, has had 33 prime 40 hits, of which 13 hit the highest 10 and three — “It’s Nonetheless Rock and Roll To Me,” “Inform Her About It” and “We Didn’t Begin The Fireplace,” reached the No. 1 spot on the Scorching 100.

Billboard estimates Joel’s track catalog averaged $8.915 million in annual music publishing royalties over the three-year interval of 2019-2021, which falls inside the $8 million-to-$9 million vary cited to Billboard by a number of sources who typically deal within the music asset market.

Whereas Joel’s representatives didn’t ask for $1 billion, sources say they as a substitute requested potential suitors to signal a non-binding supply sheet that they’d be keen to pay a 50-times-NPS a number of or $400 million; after which a second go-round the place a 40-times-NPS a number of was the ask.

Even the wished-for 40-times a number of can be the best a number of at which a catalog is publicly recognized to have traded. Presently, the 28- to 29-times a number of that sources say Common Music Group paid for the Bob Dylan track catalog is taken into account the priciest valuation. Sources say that Dylan’s catalog produces wherever from $13 million to $15 million yearly, which means that Common Music Publishing Group paid between $364 million to $435 million — and sources say the worth paid was nearer to the latter.

Consequently, when potential bidders for Joel’s songs weren’t receptive to a 40 instances a number of, the catalog, which is run globally by UMPG, seems to have been withdrawn from the market. Sources say issues have been quiet for the previous couple of months.

Whereas music asset merchants say that whereas the Joel catalog is undoubtedly precious, a 50-times or 40-times a number of can be arduous to justify — particularly with rising rates of interest.

Apart from apparently not getting his value, as Joel advised Stern, the primary purpose that he hasn’t been tempted to promote is as a result of he prefers having management over how his songs are licensed in commercials and movies, a proper he would lose if he offered. The truth is, Joel’s selectivity about licensing his music makes the iconic-song-laden catalog much more enticing to would-be suitors, who would doubtless welcome all licensing alternatives and thus make it simpler to spice up the catalog’s earnings. As one supply put it, “The Billy Joel catalogue is without doubt one of the nice crown jewels on the market: a pristine physique of labor not underused or overused.”

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