Money, money, money: Abba star, private equity firm chief seek $1 billion for new music fund

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AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 14:  Bjorn Ulvaeus speaks onstage at Featured Session: Creator Credits: Providing the Missing Links during the 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Hilton Austin on March 14, 2019 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 14: Bjorn Ulvaeus speaks onstage at Featured Session: Creator Credits: Providing the Missing Links during the 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Hilton Austin on March 14, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW)

ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus and Conni Jonsson, the chairperson of EQT AB, plan to raise as much as $1.1 billion for a new fund investing in music catalogs, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The venture will have close ties to Swedish entertainment firm Pophouse Entertainment, where the duo sit on the board, and fundraising is targeted between 5 billion to 10 billion kronor ($529 million to $1.1 billion), said the people who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

The timing of the launch has yet to be decided and early talks with investors have focused on banks and music publishers, according to the people. Representatives for Ulvaeus, Jonsson and Per Sundin, the chief executive officer of Pophouse, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Music catalogues as investments have grown in popularity. Blackstone and Hipgnosis Song Management last year started a $1 billion partnership to acquire and manage music rights.

The rock star Sting recently sold his career catalog of songs to Universal Music Group, which also purchased Bob Dylan’s catalog in 2020 in a pact worth more than $300 million.

Pophouse in February said it was broadening operations to focus on intellectual property investments in the entertainment industry. The Swedish firm is also investing in the 'ABBA Arena' in London to create a year-round concert experience using digital avatars of the pop quartet.

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