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Sony in talks to buy Queen catalogue for $1.5 billion

British rock band Queen perform in Inglewood, California in December 1977.

British rock band Queen perform in Inglewood, California in December 1977. Photo: Getty

Sony Music is reportedly in talks to buy the Queen music catalogue for £800 million ($1.5 billion).

The Bohemian Rhapsody legends – whose biggest hits include We Are The Champions, Radio Gaga and We Will Rock You – are reportedly discussing a potential deal for their iconic collection of songs.

According to Bloomberg, Sony is working with another investor on the offer, which would be the biggest of its kind and include merchandise and other business ventures.

Discussions for the deal are ongoing and might not result in an actual agreement being made.

Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon and the estate of Freddie Mercury are equal shareholders in Queen Productions Ltd.

It has said there have also been initial conversations between the band’s lawyers and Sony, which owns their masters for North America, and Universal Music Group.

Earlier in 2024 it was suggested that Deacon, who has not taken part in any public work for the group since the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992 – following the frontman’s death the previous year – will not include his share of the assets in a potential deal.

Other classic tracks in the catalogue include the likes of Another One Bites The Dust, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Killer Queen and Somebody To Love, while the group released 15 studio albums, including 1995’s final LP Made In Heaven, which features recordings Mercury made before his death.

An agreement comes as a number of high-profile songwriting catalogues have been sold in recent years, with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and David Bowie’s collections being acquired for hundreds of millions of dollars.

They have proven to be an attractive investment for labels, with the prospect of repeated royalties through usage in films and TV, as well as radio play or advertisements.

-Bang

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