News | BMG | Berlin/New York, 01/04/2022

BMG And KKR Acquire Music Interests Of Rock Icons ZZ Top

BMG and the KKR investment firm have acquired the entire music interests of U.S. rock icons ZZ Top. The transaction is the latest deal by the two companies since they announced that they would join forces in the fast-growing market for music rights. ZZ Top has sold more than 50 million albums since 1971.

The global music company BMG and global investment firm KKR today announced that they have acquired the entire music interests of American rock icons ZZ Top. The transaction marks the latest significant music rights deal the two companies have struck together since announcing in March 2021 that they would join forces in the fast-growing market for music IP. The ZZ Top agreement includes a buyout of the band’s publishing catalogue and their income from recorded royalties and performance royalties. Previously, BMG served as co-publisher and administrator of ZZ Top’s publishing catalog.

In 1971, Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals), Dusty Hill (bass, keys, vocals), and Frank Beard (drums) released their debut album, “ZZ Top’s First Album.” They would go on to release a total of 15 albums throughout the course of their 50-year career including the commercial breakthrough “Tres Hombres (1973), Platinum-certified “Degüello” (1979), Gold-certified “El Loco” (1981), Diamond-certified “Eliminator” (1983), 5x Platinum-certified “Afterburner” (1985), and the Platinum-certified “Recycler” (1990) and “Antenna” (1994).

‘A testament to the power of our partnership with KKR’

ZZ Top have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, earning four Gold, three Platinum, two multiple-Platinum album certifications, and one Diamond album in the process. The success of the group known for their distinctive look and unabashed blues-rock inspired sound was driven by six #1 Rock singles and eight Top 40 hits including rock music staples “La Grange,” “Tush,” “Cheap Sunglasses,” “Gimme All Your Lovin,” “Legs,” “Got Me Under Pressure,” and “Sharp Dressed Man,” among many others. In 2004, the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and their recently released documentary, “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” received a nomination for Best Music Film at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

Carl Stubner, CEO of Shelter Music Group and ZZ Top’s manager, said, “We are proud to continue working with and expand our longstanding relationship with BMG. This new deal ensures ZZ Top’s remarkable legacy will endure for generations to come.” BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, “This deal is a testament to the success, staying power and continuing musical relevance of ZZ Top, but also to the power of our partnership with KKR. This agreement furthers our vision of providing artists and songwriters not just a financial exit, but also a vehicle committed to respecting and treasuring their artistry.” And Jenny Box, Partner at KKR, said “We are excited to invest in ZZ Top’s iconic music and we look forward to collaborating with BMG and ZZ Top to further amplify its reach.” KKR is investing in the catalog through its private credit investment funds and vehicles and will own its interest in the music through its recently launched Chord Music Partners platform. Latham & Watkins LLP served as advisor to KKR on the transaction.