Hipgnosis shareholders back £20m sweetener for music sell-off

Shareholders in Hipgnosis Songs Fund have overwhelmingly backed a board proposal to pay a fee of up to £20 million to suitors in an effort to make bidding for its music assets more appealing.

At an extraordinary general meeting, 99.9 per cent of shareholders of the fund, which holds the rights to the work of artists ranging from Shakira to Neil Young, voted for the special resolution.

The move is a reaction to “call” option held by its investment adviser, Hipgnosis Song Management. The adviser is run by Merck Mercuriadis, 60, the fund’s founder, who stepped down last week as its chief executive to become its chairman, and is backed by Blackstone, the private equity firm. The call option gives it the right to

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