Firebird Music Holdings has appeared a few times in MBW headlines over the past year.
In September last year, we exclusively revealed that the US company had acquired a minority stake in Coran Capshaw’s Red Light Management.
Two months later, we discovered that Firebird had bought a substantial stake in UK-headquartered Transgressive Records.
Today (June 6), Firebird – co-founded by ex-KKR Partner Nat Zilkha and ex-Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard, with Raine Group as its lead investor – has revealed the names of a number of other music and music-adjacent companies in which it has acquired stakes.
These include Ntertain, a Latin-focused content and media company co-founded by entrepreneur Lex Borrero, producer Tainy, and music business legend Tommy Mottola.
(Outside of Ntertain, Lex Borrero runs music companies including talent management house NEON16, which he previously told MBW is aiming to become “the Roc Nation or the Bad Boy of Latin music”).
Other companies in which Firebird has acquired stakes, according to a new article in Billboard, include US-based Mick Management – whose roster includes Maggie Rogers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Mandy Moore, David Gray, and Hamilton Leithauser – plus UK-based dance music label Defected.
“[Firebird] has access to over $1 billion of capital right now… [and has spent] several hundred million dollars acquiring stakes in companies.”
Nat Zilkha, speaking to Billboard
Nat Zilkha tells Billboard that although Firebird has struck some minority-equity transactions, “most of [the deals we have done] is buy majority stakes”.
He adds that Firebird has “access to over $1 billion of capital right now” and has spent “several hundred millions of dollars” acquiring stakes in companies to date.
A slide within a deck sent out by Firebird to acquisition prospects, seen last year by MBW, stated: “Firebird has artist management at its core”.
This approach, said the deck, enables Firebird to “benefit from all revenue streams” surrounding an artist, including “streaming, live, IP sales, etc.”
During his 15-year career at KKR, Nat Zilkha led or co-led KKR Credit from 2013 – 2020, during which time assets under management grew from $13 billion to over $80 billion.
He also co-founded KKR’s Special Situations and Opportunistic strategy.
On his LinkedIn profile, Zilkha writes: “We built Firebird to align with premium talent and empower them with shared passion for music, modern brand activation capabilities and scale financial capital.
“We partner with artists, managers, independent labels & publishers and technology providers to create an integrated ecosystem where creatives thrive.”Music Business Worldwide