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Music royalty fund Hipgnosis freezes dividend pay till new fiscal year

todayNovember 6, 2023 2

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A headset is seen in front of displayed Hipgnosis logo in this illustration taken, June 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

Nov 6 (Reuters) – Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd (SONG.L), which had been undertaking a review of its financial position, said on Monday it would not declare dividends before its new fiscal year starting April 1 to save cash.

Shares in the music investor dropped as much as 6.5% to 67.8 pence in morning trade to be the top percentage loser on the FTSE midcap (.FTMC) index.

Hipgnosis, which owns rights to tracks by Shakira and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others, last month decided to withdraw a proposed interim dividend of 1.1325 pence per share announced on Sept. 21 to ensure compliance with its revolving credit facility’s fixed charge cover ratio covenant.

The dividend withdrawal came after the company’s independent portfolio valuer Citrin Cooperman materially reduced its expectations of industry-wide retroactive payments amid forecasts for significantly lower royalties for the 2018-2022 period.

Hipgnosis is navigating a tough phase after shareholders last month rejected a $440 million deal to sell the firm’s 29 catalogues and also voted against the firm’s current structure, prompting a reorganisation or wind up within six months.

The stock now has lost about 10% since Oct. 1, as of Friday’s close.

The music royalty fund on Monday said that 10 out of the company’s 146 catalogues were likely to meet “performance hurdles” now, according to the respective acquisition agreements.

It said the catalogue bonus provision was expected to increase by about $23 million to $68 million as at Sept. 30, and operating cash flow would be used to fund the payment of catalogue bonuses and to service its revolving credit facility.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Rashmi Aich and Bernadette Baum

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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