The Wicks Group of Companies acquired New York City-based Verse Music Publishing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Verse was launched by record producer Curt Frasca and his wife, songwriter Sabelle Breers. The company specializes in the acquisition and administration of music copyrights – a model that exploits both traditional and new music outlets.
Verse was founded in 2006, and has since recruited other industry executives, such as Faith Newman-Orbach, who put in stints at Jive Records, Sony Music and Def Jam. Newman-Orbach, the president at Verse, was responsible for signing Nas to his first major record deal in the early Nineties.
For Wicks, the deal is in line with past investments. The firm’s first fund backed a rollup of television and radio stations, Wicks Broadcast Group, that was ultimately exited in 1998. Its second and third funds were investors in Wilks Broadcast Group, which targeted radio stations in mid-size markets.
Wicks, according to its website, is still investing out of its 2004-vintage fund, Wicks Communications and Media Partners III LP. The vehicle collected $535 million of commitments when it closed six years ago.
Media-focused boutique Bank Street advised Verse on the sale.
Calls to Wicks and Verse were not immediately returned by press time.
Other sponsors have also dabbled in the music publishing space. ABRY Partners controls Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Music Reports, Inc., a provider of rights administration services. Some investments have proven difficult amid the changing entertainment landscape. Terra Firma's investment in EMI, for instance, continues to capture headlines.