Northleaf leads $500m investment in PE firm Lyric Capital

Lyric Capital Group, a US private equity firm focused on investing in music copyrights, has secured a $500 million investment.

Lyric Capital Group, a US private equity firm focused on investing in music copyrights, has secured a $500 million investment. The deal was led by Northleaf Capital Partners, a Canadian private markets investment firm, and backed by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. It will see Northleaf hold an interest in certain music royalty catalogs managed by Lyric and support Lyric’s continued growth.


NEW YORK, NY and TORONTO, ON (October 14, 2021) – Lyric Capital Group, a market leader in the music royalty space and the owner of independent music publisher Spirit Music Group, well-known for its expansive catalog of iconic and contemporary hit songs, and Northleaf Capital Partners (“Northleaf”), a global private markets investment firm, have announced a strategic alliance through which funds managed by Northleaf hold an interest in certain music royalty catalogs managed by Lyric Capital Group, led by Jon Singer, Managing Partner, and Ross Cameron, Partner. Northleaf led the $500 million investment, in which Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”), a global investment group, was a significant co-investor.

Through Lyric Capital Group, Spirit Music Group continues its growth as a strong independent publisher under consistent leadership. Jon Singer continues his role as Chairman of Spirit Music Group, while Lyric Capital Group will continue to oversee all aspects of the Spirit Music Group catalog. The strategic alliance allows the 25-year-old Spirit Music Group to continue to build upon its already impressive legacy of evergreen copyrights and present day hit songs.

Said Jon Singer, Managing Partner, Lyric Capital Group: “From day one, Spirit has stayed committed to providing unparalleled service to our songwriters and business partners and we’re proud that the health of our company reflects that promise today. This strategic alliance allows us to continue to anticipate our clients’ needs in a constantly evolving market and accelerate our growth strategy of investing in iconic catalogs, elevating new music and serving the needs of the songwriters who entrust us with their life’s work. We are excited to have Northleaf on board who share our vision.”

Said Ross Cameron, Partner, Lyric Capital Group: “Northleaf is the right long-term strategic partner for us as they bring strong creative sensibilities and private markets expertise as well as access to flexible capital to support our growth strategies within the music royalty space. Our team is honored to continue serving the incredible songwriters that make up the Spirit and Lyric family during this exciting time.”

Said Michael Morris, Managing Director, Northleaf: “We are delighted to work with the team at Lyric. Our collaboration represents a compelling opportunity in the music royalty space alongside a best-in-class operator. This is a rapidly growing and uncorrelated asset class that provides our investors with predictable and growing cash flows.”

The Spirit Music Group portfolio is largely made up of mature music royalty assets managed by Lyric Capital Group and represents combined catalogs totaling over 100,000 songs. It is one of the largest and most diversified independent music portfolios and includes iconic catalogs with 800+ charted hits and 200+ number one songs. In 2021 alone, Spirit Music Group boasts four #1 Country Airplay singles in a row with “Waves” – Luke Bryan; “Things A Man Oughta Know” – Lainey Wilson; “Country Again” – Thomas Rhett; and “You Time” – Scotty McCreery, as well as a publishing interest in the #1 Billboard Hot 100 song “Way 2 Sexy” – Drake (over 200 million streams) and the #4 Billboard Hot 100 song “Champagne Poetry” – Drake (over 100 million streams).
Added Matthew Sparks, Managing Director, Northleaf: “We look forward to supporting the growth of this mature and diverse song catalog of evergreen copyrights. Northleaf will continue to expand our music royalty portfolio by adding attractive assets with strong potential, building on our strategic approach and ability to provide flexible capital to support ongoing growth.”

Said Martin Laguerre, Executive Vice-President and Head of Private Equity and Capital Solutions, CDPQ: “We are pleased to invest alongside Northleaf in a diversified music royalties portfolio composed of firmly established assets under the solid management of Lyric. This first investment in music royalties under our Capital Solutions strategy will leverage the sector’s positive long-term trends and provide stable cash flows and attractive capital protection for our clients.”

Northleaf’s financial advisors for the transaction were Artisan Partners, FTI Consulting and GreensLedge. KPMG served as structuring and tax advisor, and Latham & Watkins LLP and Torys LLP, as its legal advisors.

Eaton Partners, one of the largest placement agents and financial advisory firms and a wholly owned subsidiary of Stifel Financial Corp., acted as exclusive financial advisor and placement agent for Lyric Capital Group. In addition to Eaton, Lyric Capital Group’s advisors included Ropes & Gray, Barnes & Thornburg, Akin Gump, and KPMG.

About Lyric Capital Group
Lyric Capital Group is a private equity firm focused on investing in music copyrights. Lyric was founded by Jon Singer and Ross Cameron who launched Lyric and its initial fund in connection with completing a management-led acquisition of Spirit Music Group, a leading independent music publishing platform, in early 2019. With several hundred million dollars of committed capital currently under management, Lyric seeks to acquire new royalty generating assets from songwriters, artists, or other sources which complement its existing portfolio of copyrights.