Earlier this week we wrote about how a group of organisations representing songwriters had written to BMI’s CEO asking some pointed questions about its for-profit model, and rumours that it was up for sale.

Now there are more rumours about the latter prospect. MBW and Billboard are both citing ‘sources’ (presumably separate sources although given some executives’ appetite for gossiping to multiple journalists, you never know…) as suggesting that one particular acquirer is in pole position.

Private equity firm New Mountain Capital is the name in the frame, and both publications mention the same potential price it might pay for BMI: $1.7bn.

BMI distributed $1.47bn in royalties during its last fiscal year, having collected $1.57bn. However, any sale to New Mountain Capital – or indeed any acquirer – would bring further scrutiny from the songwriters and rightsholders who it pays.

Among the questions in that letter we reported on earlier this week: “If BMI sells, will writers or composers receive part of the sale proceeds? If BMI sells, will the broadcasters on BMI’s board receive the sale proceeds? If so, why should broadcasters be the biggest beneficiary from a sale of a company whose only asset is songs that belong to songwriters?”

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