London-listed Hipgnosis buys catalogue of ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Buckingham

Music investment fund Hipgnosis Songs has bought the publishing rights to the catalogue of former Fleetwood Mac lead guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.

The London-listed investor said it has acquired all of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s 161 songs, and a 50% share in all the songs that he has not yet released.

It is the latest in a long line of acquisitions from the active fund run by Merck Mercuriadis, a former manager of both Sir Elton John and Pet Shop Boys.

Mr Mercuriadis has built up an impressive catalogue of songs since launching the fund on the London Stock Exchange in 2018.

Debbie Harry
Debbie Harry

Having raised more than £1 billion from shareholders, Mr Mercuriadis has been able to throw hundreds of millions at artists and writers to buy out catalogues from some of the biggest names in music.

They have included tunes by Debbie Harry, the singer of Blondie, Mark Ronson, and even Mariah Carey song All I Want For Christmas Is You, which hit the top spot in the UK charts in December, less than three months after being bought by Hipgnosis.

But Mr Mercuriadis’s big splashes have brought him some criticism, not least for the high prices he is paying for many songs.

Last month, one executive at a major label compared the Canadian’s strategy to a “WeWork for music publishing” in a comment to the Financial Times – highlighting fears that Hipgnosis is creating a bubble in the market.

But Mr Mercuriadis argues that the songs he buys are often undervalued.

“The only ones that say I overpay,” he said in an interview with the New York Times last year, “are the ones whose access I have killed.”

On Tuesday, he praised Buckingham’s decades-long career as the two penned a deal.

Mr Mercuriadis said: “Lindsey Buckingham is one of the greatest guitarists, songwriters and producers of all time yet is still so underrated.

“His work with Fleetwood Mac has brought the world unparalleled joy over the last 45 years and he belongs in any discussion featuring Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney.

“It’s wonderful to welcome him and his iconic songs both as a solo artist and with Fleetwood Mac to the Hipgnosis family.”