A little over a year since Scooter Braun first acquired the master recordings to Taylor Swift's first six albums, Variety has reported that Braun's Ithaca Holdings LLC has sold the rights to them in what is just the latest development in the ongoing battle between the music mogul and pop star.
According to the report, the recordings were sold for somewhere potentially north of $300 million to an investment firm just 17 months after Braun's holdings company first acquired Swift's original label, Big Machine. Swift later confirmed the news in a statement posted on Twitter saying that masters were bought by private equity firm Shamrock Holdings and that her own lawyers attempted to negotiate with Braun about placing a bid on her old work but was told that she would have to sign an NDA that would bar her from talking about him in a "less-than-positive way" in order to do so.
"My legal team said that this is absolutely NOT normal, and they've never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an accuser by paying them off," Swift writes. "He would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me."
Swift goes on to say in her statement that Shamrock Holdings did reach out to let her know that they had bought her old recordings but were prohibited by Braun from contacting her or her team otherwise the deal would be called off. "As soon as we started communication with Shamrock, I learned that under their terms Scooter Braun will continue to profit off my old music catalog for many years," Swift says, in addition to sharing the letter she sent to the private equity firm. "I was hopeful and open to the possibility of a partnership with Shamrock, but Scooter's participation is a non-starter for me."
Been getting a lot of questions about the recent sale of my old masters. I hope this clears things up. https://t.co/sscKXp2ibD
Swift also gave an update on her announcement earlier this year that she would be re-recording her old work as part of her efforts to reclaim control over her back catalog, describing the process as "both exciting and creatively fulfilling," while also teasing that she has "plenty of surprises in store" too.
In their own statement, Shamrock Holdings, which was founded in 1978 by Roy E. Disney and of which the Disney family still remains the sole investor, said of their latest acquisition, "Taylor Swift is a transcendent artist with a timeless catalog. We made this investment because we believe in the immense value and opportunity that comes with her work." They go on to comment, "we fully respect and support her decision and, while we hoped to formally partner, we also knew this was a possible outcome that we considered. We appreciate Taylor's open communication and professionalism with us these last few weeks. We hope to partner with her in new ways moving forward and remain committed to investing with artists in their work."