Sound & Vision - Bowie broke the mould in asset securitization

The man behind “The Man Who Sold the World” was the first recording artist to go to Wall Street to tap the future earnings of his music, paving the way for a thriving market for esoteric securities backed by everything from racehorse stud rights to commercial washing machines.

Bloomberg News reports that David Bowie, who died from cancer at age 69 on Sunday, sold $55m of bonds in 1997 that were tied to future royalties from hits including “Ziggy Stardust,” “Space Oddity” and “Changes.” Following his example were singers James Brown and Rod Stewart and the heavy-metal band Iron Maiden. Securities backed by royalties allow artists to raise money without selling the rights to their work or waiting years for payments to trickle in.

“Bowie’s bonds were as groundbreaking as his music,” said Rob Ford, a money manager at TwentyFour Asset Management, which oversees $7.7bn. “Not only were they followed by a number of other artists, but they set the template for deals backed by a whole range of assets.”

The so-called Bowie bonds were sold privately to Prudential Insurance of America. The securities were initially rated A3 rating by Moody’s Investors Service, the seventh-highest investment-grade rank. 

To access the complete Bloomberg News article hit the link below:

Bowie: The Man Who Sold Royalties and Brought Music to Bonds

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