Lehman backs music roll-up

Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking has backed the launch of EverGreen Copyright Acquisitions, a music catalog roll-up.

Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking is the latest to jump into the music industry, backing the launch of music catalog roll-up EverGreen Copyright Acquisitions. The firm, based in New York, is partnering with industry veterans Joel Katz, David Schulhof and Richard Perna. No deal terms were disclosed.

The music space has drawn a number of private equity groups in recent years. The most notable deal was the acquisition of Warner Music Group by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital and Providence Equity Partners, but similar plays have been made by Dimensional Associates, which bought the assets of Dreamworks Music Publishing, and Tailwind Capital Partners, which backed Concord Records’ acquisition of Fantasy Inc.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based EverGreen has already purchased the assets of Rykomusic and the catalogs of Warlock Music, Teddy Riley, Adigram, Bill Monroe Music and Matt Slocum. The company’s combined catalog controls over 15,000 copyrights, according to a statement, and EverGreen will continue to pursue additional acquisitions.

Its copyright portfolio currently includes songs from Nick Drake, Wreckx-N-Effect, Billy Ocean, Eric Clapton and others.

Schulfhof and Perna will share the chief executive duties at EverGreen. Schulhof had previously served as a vice president at Miramax Films, where he oversaw the company’s motion-picture music and soundtrack group, while Perna had previously served as COO of Hamstein Music Group. Katz comes from Greenberg Traurig, a law firm where he still serves as the global chair of its international entertainment practice.

Lehman Brothers is currently investing out of its third fund, Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Partners III. The firm closed the vehicle last summer, raising over $1.2 billion in limited partner commitments.