According to The Wall Street Journal, the New York private-equity firm is in advanced talks to buy music-rights manager Sesac, according to people familiar with the matter. The purchase price couldn’t be learned, but the Nashville company in 2013 sold a 75% stake to its current owner, private-equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management LLC, for $600 million.
The deal would mark the first-ever music-industry buyout by Blackstone, which was founded in 1985 and has grown to oversee $100 billion in private-equity assets. The firm’s acquisition targets over the years have included Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. and The Weather Channel.
In SESAC, Blackstone is betting on a little-known but important player in the music business. The company licenses song rights for clients including Bob Dylan,Neil Diamond and Rush to radio stations and others. It was founded in 1930 to represent European composers in the U.S.