Pink Floyd Lose Hundreds Of Millions After Fight


Pink Floyd members had decided to sell their catalog and they had every reason to believe they’d score a payday that would take care of their great grandchildren. Legendary acts have been closing deals for record sums and few of them had a roster of albums as popular as Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. It has been noted that the initial bids topped $500 million, but band infighting between David Gilmour and Roger Waters ruined the deal.

Pink Floyd couldn’t reach a deal

But months into the process, the band hasn’t reached a deal. The list of potential bidders has shrunk, and the estimated value has along with it.

The simplest explanation is that the band asked for too much money. That has been a common occurrence this year, as evidenced by the attempted sales of Concord, Roundhill Music, Anthem, Tempo and BMI.

Rising interest rates have tempered buyers’ exuberance for song catalogs. Some of the most aggressive buyers, like Hipgnosis Songs, are also being held in check by their financial partners. But Pink Floyd should be able to withstand economic headwinds that would hamper the sales process of a smaller act.

The band has sold 75 million records in the U.S. alone, the 10th most of any artist, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. It ranks among the best-selling acts in history.

This particular process has had another wrinkle or two, however. As potential buyers got more details about what was really on the table, their valuations of the asset fell. The band was selling its recordings, as well as the rights to use their name, image and likeness. But the copyright for certain songs, at least in the UK, expires in a couple of decades.

It isn’t selling the publishing catalog, the underlying songs, which are rights one needs to license a song for a commercial or a movie. The band would pre-approve the uses in many cases. But needing any approval at all is an issue with a band that can’t agree on anything.

When one bidder asked for details about who owned what and where, Ingenious, the UK-based group working on behalf of the band, couldn’t get a straight answer from Gilmour and Waters. Most of the interested parties say they haven’t heard from the sellers in weeks.

It has been noted that Sony Corp. and BMG are both still in the running. Pink Floyd has gotten at least one offer for more than $400 million and there is one potential buyer still hosting regular calls with the sellers.