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Rizvi Traverse talking deal with music rights group SESAC

December 12, 2012: 3:26 PM ET

sesac-logoPrivate equity goes country.

FORTUNE -- Private equity firm Rizvi Traverse is in talks to acquire an equity stake in SESAC, a Nashville-based performing rights organization that represents such acts as Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Lady Antebellum and Mumford & Sons.

The pending deal was first disclosed in an FTC filing, which does not provide specifics about dollars or if Rizvi Traverse would become SESAC's majority owner.

Performing rights organizations like SESAC are basically licensing agents for songwriters and their music publishing companies, collecting and paying royalties for public performances of their songs.

SESAC was founded in 1930 to help European composers who didn't have adequate U.S. representation. It later expanded to pop music, country music and film/television compositions. In 1992 it was acquired by a group that included Allen & Co. and Stephen Swid, who now serves as the company's CEO.

Swid was unavailable for comment, while a spokesman for Rizvi Traverse said that the firm does not comment on its investments (which have included Facebook, ICM, Playboy, Square, Summit entertainment and Twitter).

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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