Opus Music, Owner of Juice WRLD & Maluma Catalog Rights, Puts Portfolio Up for Sale – Billboard

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Opus Music Group, which owns a stake in late rapper Juice WRLD’s rights and income streams, is putting its portfolio up for sale as the market conditions that fueled a gold rush for music intellectual property rights cools.

Opus is seeking around $200 million for its package of mostly passive income and royalty streaming rights, according to three sources with knowledge of the deal. Working with bankers from Raine Group, the group has fielded bids for several months, two of those sources said.

After a dramatic runup in the song-catalog investment and management market, persistently high interest rates and a bounce back in the broader market are prompting some, like Opus, to cash out, one of the sources said.

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New York-based Opus launched in 2021 with the backing of activist investor Elliott Investment Management. In 2022, Opus purchased a majority stake in late rapper Juice WRLD’s rights and income streams in a nine-figure deal, Billboard reported at the time. Opus’s portfolio also includes works and recordings from Rauw Alejandro and Maluma, according to its website. Billboard was unable to determine a full accounting of what rights Opus owns or is selling.

Representatives from Opus and Raine Group did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for Elliott declined to comment.

Billboard was not able to independently value Opus’ catalog. However, according to a source familiar with the deal, Opus’ catalog had $16 million in net publisher’s share, and at the time the deal was done, the Juice WRLD rights had at least $9 million in annual royalties — publishing and artist royalties combined — according to another source.

Beginning in 2015, a wave of investors sparked a dramatic runup in the market for artist catalogs, song royalties, copyrights and income streams, with rights to works by Smokey Robinson, Bruce Springsteen, Shakira and Justin Bieber selling to both established companies like Primary Wave and the majors, as well as new players like Hipgnosis. In the years since, however, market dynamics have shifted. Interest rates have remained unexpectedly high, making financing further catalog acquisitions expensive, and the yield on U.S. Treasury bills and other stable asset classes has rebounded, making the steady returns of music IP less of a standout to yield-hungry investors.

“When the frenzy started there really were not a lot of great places to reach for yield,” says Michael Bizenov, president of Sound Royalties, which specializes in royalty financing to music clients like Dominican rapper and dembow star El Alfa. “This was a place where you could find yield. As you have yield opportunities in other places, people who were in there as a commodity will stop and reallocate.”

Investors, industry lawyers and bankers said music royalties remain an attractive and stable asset class for those with a long-term appetite. However, those sources said, they expect a wave of consolidation to hit catalog investment firms as companies backed by financial industry investors seek to securitize or exit the investment by 2027.

“There is still a robust marketplace for the sale of music IP, but the ones who were in it because everyone else was in it are getting out,” says Bizenov.

Additional reporting by Ed Christman.

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