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Private Equity Giant Francisco Partners Acquires Kobalt Music Group

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SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) — The technology-focused private equity firm Francisco Partners announced it has acquired a controlling interest in the independent rights management and music publisher, Kobalt Music Group.

Following the investment, Kobalt will retain key leadership, including Willard Ahdritz, who will continue as Chairman and its existing management team of Laurent Hubert, CEO, Jeannette Perez, President and COO, Catrin Drabble, CFO, and Nuno Guerreiro, CTO.

Francisco Partners oversees approximately $45 billion in capital and invests primarily in hardware and software service providers. Along with Kobalt, their portfolio includes an investment in the ticketing and event management platform Eventbrite.

For over 20 years, Kobalt has been a music leader with technology as a core part of our focus, and I can’t think of a better investor than Francisco Partners to back our vision and invest deeply in our ambitious technology development and creator services,” said Willard Ahdritz

“Having known the team at Francisco Partners for two years, I am excited to invite them into the Kobalt family. I look forward to working with them as Kobalt Chairman. This backing is a testament to what we’ve built at Kobalt, and we will continue working to improve the industry for our clients. I would also like to make a special point to thank all those who believed in Kobalt from the start: investors, clients, and employees, who all contributed to building this great company, thereby changing the game for creators,” Ahdritz added.

“Kobalt has been an agent of change and innovator for the past 20 years, and as a result, we have built an extraordinary brand and creative destination for the best creators in the world,” said Laurent Hubert, CEO of Kobalt. “We look forward to working with Francisco Partners to embark on Kobalt’s next innovation chapter. The combination of FP’s expertise in technology and our deep understanding of the music industry will ensure that Kobalt expands its reach and impact as a global music publisher. Our mission of being a positive transformative force for the benefit of all creators continues.”

Alongside Francisco Partners, MUSIC and Dundee Partners are also investing in Kobalt. Matt Pincus, CEO of MUSIC, will join the Board of Kobalt post the deal closing.

The investment is subject to customary regulatory and closing conditions.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as financial advisor to Kobalt, and Raine Group served as financial advisor to Francisco Partners.

The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

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