Last August, US-based performance rights company BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) scrapped plans for a multi-billion dollar company sale following underwhelming offers.

Citing sources, Bloomberg reported at the time that the music rights collection firm set a price tag of up to $2 billion or $3 billion for certain potential buyers and that BMI executives had hoped to sell for at least $1.5 billion.

BMI enlisted Goldman Sachs as an advisor in March 2022 to help review strategic opportunities.

Now, according to a report from Reuters, published on Tuesday (July 25), BMI is, “once again exploring options including a sale”.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters reports that BMI has turned to Goldman Sachs “for guidance as it fields interest from potential acquirers, including private equity firms”.

The news arrives around nine months after BMI revealed that its not-for-profit business model, under which it had operated since the PRO was founded in 1939, was changing to a for-profit model.

The news was announced by the company in a post published to BMI’s website, which included a note sent by BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill to the organization’s affiliates.

Within his note, O’Neill wrote that the decision to change BMI’s business model comes “after a comprehensive and careful assessment on how best to position our company for the future”.

He argued that the move “will open up new and important opportunities for us to invest in our business”.

Added O’Neill: “Simply put, growth for BMI means growth for our affiliates. And most importantly, our goal is to continue to increase our royalty distributions at an even greater rate than we have before.”

O’Neill also commented on that strategic review process from March 2022, stating in his note to BMI affiliates in Otober that, “BMI began a strategic review earlier this year to evaluate opportunities to grow our company and make the most of our evolving industry for our affiliates”.

He added: “The one thing we continually heard throughout that process reinforced what we have been thinking for some time: the need for us to invest in BMI and operate in a more commercial and forward-thinking way. Growth requires investment.

“And in this new model, we can now structure, fund and operate new strategic opportunities, adopt new technologies and enhance and expand our services and products in a way that under our old model would have come at the expense of distributions.”

Reuters reports, citing sources, that BMI is hopeful that changing to a for-profit business “will make it a more attractive acquisition target”.

Those same sources noted, however, that BMI, may decide not to go through with a sale.Music Business Worldwide


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