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Sony in talks to buy Queen’s music catalogue in reported $1bn deal

Sony in talks to buy Queen’s music catalogue in reported $1bn deal - pctured: Surviving Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor
Sony in talks to buy Queen’s music catalogue in reported $1bn deal - pctured: Surviving Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor Copyright AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Copyright AP Photo/Martin Meissner
By David Mouriquand
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If the deal goes through, it will be the biggest of its kind - surpassing the estimated $500 million (€461 million) that Sony paid to acquire Bruce Springsteen’s catalogue in late 2021.

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Sony Music is reportedly in talks to acquire the catalogue of legendary rock band Queen, including hits like 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'Radio Ga Ga'.

The reports come from Bloomberg, who cite sources as saying that Sony is currently “working with another investor” on a transaction that “could potentially total $1 billion”.

Bloomberg added that the negotiations “are ongoing and may not result in an agreement” but that a potential deal would include “merchandising and other business opportunities” - which includes rights to logos and music videos.

Discussions over the sale have been taking place since last year, and if the $1 billion (€922 million) deal goes ahead, it will be the biggest of its kind - surpassing the estimated $500 million (€461 million) that Sony paid to acquire Bruce Springsteen’s catalogue in late 2021.

Queen guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, bassist John Deacon and the estate of Freddie Mercury are equal shareholders in Queen Productions Ltd.

Queen tallies 52 million monthly listeners on Spotify, making the band’s catalogue one of the most coveted – especially since there has been a huge appetite in recent years for the acquisition of music catalogues. From Bob Dylan to Kiss and David Bowie, these investments are extremely attractive because the songs can be used in films or ads, and therefore producing royalties for the rights owners.

Sony bought Bruce Springsteen’s back catalogue in 2021, and this year, the company acquired a 50% interest in Michael Jackson’s music catalogue from the late singer’s estate for at least $600m (€553 million).

No official comments from Sony Music or Queen have been made.

Additional sources • Bloomberg, Billboard

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