The $500 million sale of Pink Floyd’s song catalog has been stalled by gang fighting
Pink Floyd’s $500 million+ music catalog sale has stalled. The auction was delayed by months of rows between band members over taxes, assets and bassist Roger Waters’ claims that he was on an assassination hit list in Ukraine.
The dispute jeopardizes an expected payout for a song catalog seen as one of the most valuable assets to come amid a vintage rock music sales boom.
With interest from a broad group of investors and music companies, including Blackstone, Sony Music and Warner Music, Pink Floyd was expected to bring in more than $500 million, making it one of the largest music rights deals of all time.
However, the auction process, which began in May, was mired in drama and, according to several people involved in the negotiations, was delayed by several months due to disagreements between the band members over the deal’s tax structure.
Waters lives in the US while other members are in the UK, and his ties with Dave Gilmour have been strained for decades, making an agreement on a complex financial transaction difficult.
A bidder for the catalog said the strained relationship made it “impossible”. Another said they may never be able to strike a deal even if a buyer is chosen because the band “never needs an excuse to disagree”. Negotiating the deal was “as difficult as possible,” said a person familiar with the talks.
Bidders now refer to the consultant who handles the sale as an “agent”.
Bidders were told the process would soon resume after they stalled over how to structure the deal in a tax-efficient manner.
They still hoped to reach an agreement in the coming weeks and talks are active, people with knowledge of the details said.
Waters controversial comments this week – in which he claimed to be in it a Ukrainian “kill list” – did not help according to the bidders involved.
Waters told Rolling Stone on Tuesday: “It’s an unnecessary war. . . Russia should not have been encouraged to invade Ukraine after 20 years of trying to avoid doing so by proposing diplomatic action to Western governments.”
Band members Gilmour and Nick Mason released a new song earlier this year to support Ukraine after Russia invaded, with proceeds going to Ukrainian humanitarian aid. Gilmour said he was “disappointed” in Waters.
The surviving band members of Pink Floyd are in their late 70s and aim to follow stars like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, who have sold their song catalogs for hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to capitalize on the rising demand for music from Wall Street investors.
Waters and Gilmour have had a strained relationship for more than four decades. drummer said Nick Mason in 2018: “It is really disappointing that these rather elderly gentlemen are still at odds . . . It would seem silly to keep fighting at this point in our lives.”
The band’s coveted catalog of songs includes hits like “Money”, “Comfortably Numb” and “Welcome to the Machine”. Pink Floyd members did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
https://www.ft.com/content/b428d624-3f04-4408-ae5a-c6cc64224d3a The $500 million sale of Pink Floyd’s song catalog has been stalled by gang fighting