83% of Hipgnosis Shareholders reject continuation, Merck Mercuriadis responds
83.2% of Hipgnosis shareholders voted against the continuation of the song investment fund and rejected a $449 million partial asset sale to Blackstone.
In a scathing rebuke of the current Board and leadership, investors voted no on a resolution “to continue running the fund in its current form,” which could lead to a dissolution of the fund altogether.
“These proposals may or may not involve winding up the company or liquidating all or part of the company’s existing portfolio of investments,” Hipgnosis said.
Andrew Wilkinson and Paul Burger, two of the company’s non-executive directors, have resigned, and current Board Chair Andrew Sutch has previously announced that he would be stepping down from his role soon.
In a statement Thursday morning, Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis Song Management founder and CEO wrote about a reset for the company rather than a sale.
“Today’s Hipgnosis Songs Fund AGM marks an opportunity to reset and focus on the future.
Our conversations with shareholders have revealed a consensus that they are enthusiastic about the quality of the company’s iconic portfolio of songs”, he goes on. “However, it is also clear that they are asking for change, and we respect that feedback. Hipgnosis Song Management’s new management team and I have already started taking the relevant necessary action to meet the expectations of shareholders.
Our commitment to the company’s shareholders remains absolute, and we look forward to working with a new Chair and reconstituted Board during this period to ensure that the Hipgnosis Songs Fund delivers for its shareholders. During this process, shareholders can be certain that Hipgnosis Song Management will continue to manage the Songs with the greatest duty of care as always.
Finally, I would like to thank Andrew Sutch, Andrew Wilkinson, and Paul Burger for their important contributions to the company over the last almost six years.”