News that Concord plans to buy Round Hill Music Royalty Fund for $1.15 per share sent Round Hill shares soaring 64.4% on Friday (Sept. 8), from $0.6875 to $1.13 per share. They finished the week up 62.6%, leading all music stocks by a wide margin.

The deal, which must be approved by at least 75% of Round Hill’s shareholders at the company’s Oct. 18 general meeting, values the rights in the fund at nearly $469 million. On March 6, an independent valuation from Citron Cooperman put Round Hill’s economic net asset value at $519.6 million, according to the company’s 2022 annual report. That puts Concord’s bid at a 9.7% discount to economic NAV — a vast improvement from the 46% discount the stock had been trading at before the deal was announced. 

Round Hill competitor Hipgnosis Songs Fund was also a beneficiary of Concord’s announcement. Shares of Hipgnosis rose 15.7% to 0.923 pounds ($1.15) on Friday, bringing the stock’s one-week gain to 16.8%. Hipgnosis shares have been trading at a steep discount to the company’s net asset value — a measure of the company’s catalog, less liabilities — and hadn’t closed above 0.923 pounds since Sept. 27, 2022. The fact that Concord found a buyer at a price close to its NAV could have signaled to Hipgnosis investors that its shares should be trading closer to its NAV. Some Hipgnosis investors may have also believed that, like the Concord deal, Hipgnosis could also find a suitor that would bid close to the NAV.

Round Hill and Hipgnosis were — by far — the biggest gainers of the week. Overall, the 21-stock Billboard Global Music Index dropped 0.8% to 1,348.41. Year-to-date, the index has gained 15.5%.

No other music stocks had a double-digit gain, and just six others finished the week in positive territory. Twelve stocks lost ground this week and one stock, music streamer Anghami, was unchanged. French music streamer Deezer gained 6.8% and was probably helped by its announcement of a partnership with Universal Music Group to adopt a new system for calculating streaming royalties. Universal Music Group shares improved 3.8% to 23.52 euros ($25.20). 

Stocks were down around the world this week. In the United States, the S&P 500 fell 1.3% and the Nasdaq composite dropped 1.9%. South Korea’s KOSPI composite index lost 0.6%. In the United Kingdom, the FTSE 100 was a bright spot with a slight 0.2% gain. 

With the help of Round Hill and Hipgnosis, the eight stocks in the record labels and publishing category on the Billboard Global Music Index had an average gain of 10.3%. The other categories saw losses; four live music stocks had a 0.9% average decline, six streaming stocks dropped an average of 3.9% and three radio stocks had a 4.7% average decline. 

LiveOne shares fell 10.4% on Friday following the company’s spin-off of its PodcastOne segment on the Nasdaq exchange. That brought its shares’ one-week loss to 21.8%. LiveOne distributed about 19% of PodcastOne shares to LiveOne shareholders of record as of Sept. 5, but the podcast company’s trading debut got off to a rocky start on Friday. Trading under the ticker PODC, shares of PodcastOne owner and operater Courtside Group fell 45.1% to $4.39 from a starting price of $8 per share.

Glenn Peoples
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