Pop juggernaut Justin Bieber has sold his music publishing and recording catalog shares to the Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital for $200 million.
Hipgnosis did not publicly disclose the terms of the deal, but a source close to the matter said it was worth around $200 million.
Contemporary stars including Justin Timberlake and Shakira have also sold large stakes in their work but the move has mostly been seen among legacy artists like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
The staggering sums, Springsteen's catalogue went to Sony for a reported half a billion dollars, are considered safe bets both for older artists who want to get their finances in order and investors who can count on consistent returns from time-tested music and the viability of streaming.
Younger catalogues are seen as riskier territory, but Bieber is one of the best-selling artists of all time, and now Hipgnosis owns his share in some of the 21st century's biggest hits including Baby and Sorry.
Hipgnosis Songs Capital is a $1 billion venture between financial giant Blackstone and the British Hipgnosis Song Management.
According to the deal, Hipgnosis has acquired Bieber's publishing copyrights to his 290-song back catalogue - all of his music released prior to 31 December 2021 - including his writer's share.
It also includes his artist rights to his lucrative master recordings as well as neighbouring rights royalties - a right that sees its owner receive a payment every time a song is played publicly.
But while Hipgnosis will receive the revenues, Bieber's longtime home Universal will continue to administer the catalogue, Variety reports.
After the Canadian native was discovered on YouTube as a teen, Bieber skyrocketed to global fame, selling more than 150 million records.
He has charted eight number-one records on Billboard's top albums list in the US, and his songs have streamed on Spotify alone more than 32 billion times.
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"The impact of Justin Bieber on global culture over the last 14 years has truly been remarkable," said Hipgnosis chief Merck Mercuriadis, a longtime music industry executive, in a statement.
"At only 28 years of age, he is one of a handful of defining artists of the streaming era that has revitalized the entire music industry, taking a loyal and worldwide audience with him on a journey from teen phenomenon to a culturally important artist."
Bieber's health has suffered recently, with the star going on an indefinite touring hiatus after he revealed he'd been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a rare complication of shingles that for him caused partial facial paralysis.
Along with Springsteen and Dylan major deals across the industry include work from Sting, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon, Motley Crue, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and from the estates of David Bowie and Leonard Cohen.
The owners of a song's publishing rights receive a cut in a number of scenarios, including radio play and streaming, album sales, and use in advertising and movies. Recording rights govern reproduction and distribution.
The flurry of sales came amid a wider conversation over artists' ownership of the work, amplified in large part by Taylor Swift, who has found resounding success as she re-records her first six albums so she can control their master recording rights.
That move stemmed from Swift's very public feud with Scooter Braun, the music manager whose company once owned her original masters, and later sold them to the investment firm Shamrock Holdings.
Braun has been Bieber's manager for 15 years, and in a statement said "when Justin made the decision to make a catalogue deal we quickly found the best partner to preserve and grow this amazing legacy was Merck and Hipgnosis."
"Justin is truly a once-in-a-generation artist and that is reflected and acknowledged by the magnitude of this deal."