The funding financial institution that’s been most crucial of Hipgnosis Songs Fund… simply upgraded Hipgnosis Songs Fund to ‘optimistic’

It’s honest to recommend that Hipgnosis Songs Fund (HSF), the UK-listed entity that owns track rights (and earnings streams) price over $2 billion, has been extra harshly scrutinized by one funding financial institution than some other these previous couple of years.

US-headquartered Stifel hasn’t been shy in expressing its pessimism over HSF ever for the reason that monetary agency downgraded its view of the music firm’s inventory in early 2021 – through a report which led the Monetary Occasions to surmise: “Stifel is worried that Hipgnosis Songs Fund is slipping out of tune.”

Since then, Stifel analysts have appeared in monetary media a lot of instances to name into query, amongst different issues, HSF’s money circulate profile, its acknowledged valuation, and its decision to buy back stock last year utilizing a debt increase.

Now, although, the narrative has modified slightly.

Stifel has right now (January 19) issued a report wherein it waves a not-insignificant quantity of optimism in Hipgnosis Songs Fund’s path – and even encourages buyers to contemplate shopping for inventory within the firm.

The HSF-themed report, titled ‘Revenues present indicators of stability: Time to dip your toe’, sees Stifel improve Hipgnosis Songs Fund inventory to ‘Constructive’.

The report means that Hipgnosis’ recently agreed Revolving Credit Facility – which introduced the agency a further ≈$100 million in spending energy in late 2022, and was secured at a set rate of interest – appears to be like like a sensible transfer by Merck Mercuriadis‘ firm.

The elevated measurement of that RCF, mixed with the fixing of curiosity prices on the debt, plus the proactive “hedging [of] the price of dividends by the This fall sterling turmoil”, says Stifel, signifies that HSF’s “near-term dividend funds are safe”.

Stifel notes “indicators of income development” and stabilization at Hipgnosis, as mirrored within the music firm’s latest financial figures masking the six months to finish of September 2022.

Stifel attracts explicit consideration to enchancment in HSF’s ‘pro-forma income’ or PFAR (see under).

When these improved revenues are mixed with the expectation that basic rates of interest will peak (after which fall) this 12 months, Stifel suggests market sentiment could now enhance on HSF’s inventory (i.e. uplifting its share worth).

Stifel does proceed to query HSF’s acknowledged NAV (Internet Asset Worth), noting its perception that if this had been to fall by 10%, Hipgnosis wouldn’t have sufficient free funds left from its current RCF to cowl dividend funds, which means that “strain on [Hipgnosis finding the money for] dividends may happen as working capital stays tight”.

Crucially although, Stifel means that this final result “seems unlikely at this stage”.

In encouraging buyers to contemplate shopping for Hipgnosis Songs Fund inventory, Stifel says that “whereas draw back dangers stay, they’ve subsided”. Stifel now expects {that a} share worth of GBP 1.00 to GBP 1.10 for HSF might be justified. (HSF’s present share worth stands at GBP £0.8677 on the London Inventory Trade, down from a peak of £1.292 in November 2021.)

Hipgnosis Songs Fund is one in every of two capital funds which can be deployed by an funding supervisor – Hipgnosis Music Administration – to amass music rights.

The second of these funds is a non-public automobile funded by Blackstone: Hipgnosis Songs Capital (HSC).

Following the acquisition of catalogs created by music icons corresponding to Leonard Cohen and Justin Timberlake, reviews in the direction of the top of final 12 months steered that HSC was getting close to acquiring a song catalog from Justin Bieber for a worth within the area of $200 million.Music Enterprise Worldwide

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