Warner buys Parlophone for £487m

Warner Music Group has completed the purchase of Parlophone Label Group from Universal for £487 million in an all-cash transaction.

The asset is a forced divestment for UMG, related to its historic £1.2 billion purchase of EMI Music last year.

In addition to the Parlophone label, PLG includes the Chrysalis/Ensign labels in the United Kingdom, EMI Classics and Virgin Classics and the EMI operating companies in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

“This is a defining moment for Warner Music, which is strengthened today by the addition of PLG’s acclaimed roster, renowned catalogue and gifted executives.”

Len Blavatnik, Access Industries

PLG’s artist roster does not include the most iconic Parlophone artist of all time, The Beatles – that catalogue stays with Universal. However, it does include a litany of superstar recordings including Coldplay, Tinie Tempah, Pet Shop Boys, Kylie Minogue, Danger Mouse, David Guetta, David Bowie, Radiohead, Tina Turner, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Blur, Kate Bush and Daft Punk.

Len Blavatnik, Chairman and founder of Warner owner Access Industries, said, “This is a defining moment for Warner Music, which is strengthened today by the addition of PLG’s acclaimed roster, renowned catalogue and gifted executives. This acquisition further cements Warner Music’s place as the world’s best home for extraordinary artists.”

Stephen Cooper, CEO, Warner Music Group, said, “We are delighted to officially welcome PLG’s legendary roster and dynamic team to the Warner Music family. This acquisition unites two companies synonymous with incredible music, pioneering labels and artists that have shaped genres and defined generations.

“By staying true to our shared values, leveraging our complementary strengths and investing in growth, we will build on that remarkable legacy to set new standards in artist development and drive industry-leading innovation. Above all, this historic deal will create global opportunities for great music talent.”

“We are very pleased to complete this transaction – another great step forward positioning Universal Music to fully capitalize on music’s many new and exciting opportunities,” said Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO of UMG.

“Over the course of the past year, we successfully acquired the recorded music assets of the legendary British music company EMI, revitalized its iconic Capitol Records and Virgin Records and further strengthened UMG’s position as the global leader in music.

“Now, given PLG’s strong valuation, the transaction’s proceeds provide us significant resources for our global reinvestment program rebuilding EMI, preserving its heritage and helping all of UMG lead the industry’s digital transformation – and even better able to serve artists, songwriters and business partners, while offering fans more choice.”

UMG acquired EMI labels and domestic operations as Virgin, Capitol, Blue Note, Christian Music Group, Capitol Nashville, Canada, Australia, Italy, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Japan and Latin America and South Africa, among others.

Artists the company has ingested from EMI include The Beatles, Katy Perry, Emeli Sandé, Robbie Williams, Swedish House Mafia, The Beach Boys, Lady Antebellum, Herbert Gronemeyer, Norah Jones, Tiziano Ferro, Hikaru Utada and Vasco Rossi.Music Business Worldwide

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