Friday, August 28, 2020

Harry Fox rival Music Reports acquired by private equity firm MidOcean Partners | Music Business Worldwide

Music Reports, a California-based rival to mechanical rights clearing house Harry Fox Agency (HFA), has been fully acquired by private equity company MidOcean Partners.

New York-based MidOcean has acquired the firm for an undisclosed fee from its previous owners, ABRY Partners plus Music Reports’ co-founders, Ronald Gertz and Douglas Brainin.

Music Reports says it will use the investment to “accelerate [our] growth, both through organic product initiatives, as well as potential acquisitions”.

As a result of the acquisition, Gertz will step down as Music Reports’ Executive Chairman,  and Brainin will vacate his role as the company’s CEO.

Both executives, who co-founded Music Reports in 1995, will remain involved with the company as Senior Advisors.

Dhruv Prasad will join Music Reports as President and CEO from MidOcean, where he has served as an Operating Partner since 2019.

Prior to joining MidOcean, he was the co-CEO of Townsquare Media, Inc, a multi-platform media, entertainment, and digital marketing services company that he co-founded in 2010. Prasad took Townsquare public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.

Barrett Gilmer, Managing Director at MidOcean, commented, “The global recorded music industry is experiencing compelling growth driven by application development, smartphone penetration, and distribution. MidOcean identified an enormous need for specialized data and service providers to help navigate the incredibly complex web of rights, licenses, and payments.

“We believe Music Reports serves this need better than anyone in the world, and we are excited to support Dhruv and the management team to grow our new music services platform in the US and internationally.”

Dhruv Prasad has also made an individual equity investment in Music Reports alongside MidOcean.

“I’m thrilled to join the team at Music Reports and am excited about the opportunities to drive growth with MidOcean in this platform,” said Prasad. “Music Reports has the most complete database and most advanced technology in the space. Leveraging these significant core assets, our vision going forward is to build out the back office that powers the rapidly changing music ecosystem, and to dedicate ourselves to enabling fair, accurate, transparent, and timely payments between music users and music owners.”

Music Reports, which was founded in 1995, offers a range of advanced rights, payments, and royalty solutions for clients, as well as running two proprietary two databases: Cuetrax for sheet music, and Songdex for music rights, which the firm claims is the “world’s largest registry of music copyright”.

Music Reports clients include the likes of Netflix, Amazon Music, Deezer, TIDAL, HBO, CBS and SoundCloud.

Gertz and Brainin in a joint statement: “For 25 years, Music Reports, the company that we built together, has been helping clients navigate the complex landscape of music royalties, while building an industry-leading global rights administration platform.

“We are excited for this next step in the company’s growth trajectory and look forward to working with Dhruv to execute the company’s mission to deliver best in class solutions to the greater media and music industries.”

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal advisor to MidOcean. Piper Sandler served as financial advisor and Morrison & Foerster LLP acted as legal advisor to Music Reports.Music Business Worldwide


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