Hipgnosis Songs Fund Founder Blames Former Partner for Fraud Accusations

Hipgnosis Songs Fund - Merck Mercuriadis

Court documents reveal that the founder of a music company, which holds the rights to songs by artists like Blondie and Justin Bieber, has accused his former business partner of utilizing proceeds from fraud to finance their now-defunct venture.

Merck Mercuriadis, the founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund (HSF), a company specializing in purchasing music rights to capitalize on streaming revenues, faces allegations from his co-founders of Hipgnosis Music Limited (HML).

They claim Mercuriadis appropriated their idea, resulting in significant financial gain when HSF went public in 2018.

Mercuriadis denies these claims, arguing that the allegations are opportunistic and lack merit. He contends that he was unaware of any fraudulent activity funding the initial Hipgnosis venture.

Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis

The legal action also implicates HSF and its investment advisor as defendants, both of whom are contesting the allegations alongside Mercuriadis.

Hipgnosis aimed to acquire music rights from renowned artists and writers, generating dividends for investors while providing musicians with substantial upfront payments.

Mercuriadis, a former manager of prominent acts, brought considerable industry expertise to the venture.

The use of the name “Hipgnosis” is noteworthy, as it originated from a graphic design group known for producing album covers for iconic artists.

Mercuriadis, who established a personal services company in 2009, adopted the name with approval from the design group’s founder.

Hipgnosis Songs Fund – Merck Mercuriadis

Despite HSF’s success and its impending acquisition by Blackstone, the company has faced turmoil due to concerns over overpaying for music rights.

This contrasts with Mercuriadis’s initial endeavor, which encountered significant challenges following revelations of fraudulent financing.

The dissolution of HML saw negotiations with only a few artists, including songwriter Wayne Hector and the Isley Brothers, fail due to financial constraints.

The legal dispute between Mercuriadis and his former partners continues, with HML confident in its case against him.

However, Mercuriadis and others involved have chosen not to comment further on the matter.

Jessica Smith
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