The Worldwired IP Fund, the latest in a new breed of acquisition ventures focused on music rights, is expected to have resources worth between $300 and $500 million. Song catalogs — specifically classic-rock catalogs — will comprise a significant portion of the venture’s portfolio, though the Worldwired Fund says it is interested in other kinds of intellectual property as well.
While Metallica is not spearheading the fund, the fund’s name — perhaps in a nod to their involvement — shares a name with Metallica’s WorldWired Tour, which was launched back in 2016 in support of their most recent studio album, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct. Metallica declined Rolling Stone‘s request for comment via a representative.
Leading the Worldwired IP Fund is ex-Morgan Stanley investment banker Paul Donahue, who also serves on the advisory board of Metallica’s All Within My Hands foundation. Along with the band members of Metallica, the other parties involved in the fund include the band’s co-manager Cliff Burnstein, former Fender president/COO Matt Janopaul, and former Sony/ATV co-president Rick Krim. A source tells Variety that several other parties are also putting “meaningful resources” toward the fund.
The formation of the Worldwired IP Fund notably comes as Hipgnosis Songs — an IP investment fund launched in 2018 by music industry veteran Merck Mercuriadis that has attracted widespread attention in the music industry — continues to add to its already enormous portfolio. The company has reportedly invested $1 billion, amassing a catalog of over 12,000 songs from hit-makers like Jack Antonoff, Mark Ronson, Timbaland, Tom DeLonge, Teddy Geiger, The-Dream and Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora.
Hipgnosis’s founder Mercuriadis told Rolling Stone in April after acquiring a 70% stake in the Ronson catalog: “it’s a good time now to look at risks in the future and sell their songs, particularly to someone who understand their legacy and will treat that legacy with tremendous respect.”