Mavin Records, the Nigerian label owned by Michael Collins popularly known as Don Jazzy and home to music stars such as Rema, Ayra Starr, and Johnny Drille is seeking investment or eying a potential full sale with bidding coming from the Universal Music Group, HYBE and strong interest from music asset investors in the financial sector, according to Billboard.
Billboard reports that Mavin’s valuation in the proposed deal is above $125 million and could be worth $150 million to $200 million. However, it’s unclear if the label owns music publishing and if that is part of the deal. Reports further say that Shot Tower Capital is showing interest in the deal.
The move is expected to raise funding to help position the label for more growth. The African continent is anticipated to be the next geographical repertoire to have a commanding presence on the global stage, similar to how Latin and K-pop have impacted the international marketplace in recent years.
The Mavin management team, under the leadership of the renowned Nigerian music business executive Don Jazzy, is anticipated to continue leading the company and maintain a level of influence over its future, even if the investment originates from a strategic investor such as UMG or HYBE, or if another music label or company acquires Mavin entirely.
According to reports, HYBE holds the leading position among potential music industry investors, with UMG ranking second. It’s worth noting that some of Mavin’s prominent artists have their music distributed in the U.S. through various arms of UMG.
For example, Rema’s successful track “Calm Down,” which reached No. 3 on the Hot 100 and continues to chart in the top 10 after 56 weeks, was distributed by Virgin, an independent distribution branch of UMG. Furthermore, the remix of this song by Rema and Selena Gomez is licensed to Interscope, and there are indications that other Mavin artists may be associated with Republic, as Mavin is listed under that label in Luminate.
Rema and Ayra Starr have collectively amassed more than 1.5 billion on-demand streams globally, as reported by Luminate. However, it’s worth noting that Rema’s collaboration with Gomez on “Calm Down” is not included in his artist page’s stream count.
This specific song has achieved an impressive 9.07 billion global streams, with a notable surge of 164.5 million and 165.7 million streams in just the past two weeks, as of September 28th. Additionally, various other collaborations featuring Rema are listed separately in Luminate, significantly increasing his overall share of streams compared to what is attributed solely to his artist page.
Furthermore, both Rema and Ayra Starr have made a substantial impact on the global stage, surpassing their influence in the U.S. Specifically, Rema has garnered 287 million streams in the U.S., while Starr has accumulated 203 million streams in the same region. To put this in perspective, Rema’s collaboration with Gomez in the U.S. accounts for less than one-tenth of the song’s remarkable total activity, which exceeds 9 billion streams worldwide.
In addition to hot artists like Rema and Starr, Mavin’s roster features more up-and-coming artists like Ladipoe, Crayon, Boy Spyce and Magixx. At the same time, its catalogue includes music from Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal, Iyanya and Reekado Banks.
Winning the Mavin auction would catapult that bidder into a key player in the Nigerian Afrobeats scene — the umbrella genre encompassing Afropop, Afro-fusion, high life and others continues to explode around the globe. In the past several years, artists such as Wizkid, Davido and Burna Boy have blossomed into global superstars, while the likes of Rema, Starr, Tems, Ckay, Asake and Fireboy DML have led a wave of young, emerging talent coming from the African continent.
Beyond that, the buyer would also land the executive talent of Don Jazzy, born Michael Ajerehwho, who has already established Mavin as one of the leading record labels on the continent. Don Jazzy has become a leading figure in developing the music business in Nigeria, having established Mo’ Hit Records alongside iconic recording artist D’Banj in 2004 before launching Mavin in 2012.