Warner Music Group and Len Blavatnik pledge $100m fund for anti-racist and music industry causes

Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation have announced a $100 million fund to “support charitable causes related to the music industry, social justice and campaigns against violence and racism”.

According to WMG, an advisory panel made up of appointees from Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation will establish procedures to “identify and support those in the music community, and organizations strengthening education, and promoting equality, opportunity, diversity and inclusion”. This advisory panel will determine the amount of the financial gifts and timing.

Steve Cooper, CEO, Warner Music Group said, “This fund will support the extraordinary, dedicated organizations that are on the front lines of the fight against racism and injustice, and that help those in need across the music industry.

“Our advisory panel, which will draw from a diverse cross-section of people from our team and the wider community, will help us be very thoughtful and accountable in how we make an impact. We’re determined to contribute, on a sustained long-term basis, to the effort to bring about real change.”

The announcement comes on a big day for WMG, which has confirmed its intention to IPO on the Nasdaq this morning (June 3) in New York, with an opening price of $25.00 per share – giving WMG a valuation just shy of $13bn.

The Blavatnik Family Foundation is exclusively self-funded by Len Blavatnik, a majority owner and the founder and chairman of Access Industries, a privately held industrial group based in the United States.

Access will continue to be the majority owner of Warner Music Group following the firm’s float on the Nasdaq today.

Warner Music Group chose not to go public on the Nasdaq yesterday (June 2), instead observing the music industry-wide ‘Black Out Tuesday’ initiative, launched in solidarity with those protesting racial injustice in the United States.

Over the weekend, Warner labels such as Atlantic Records and Warner Records announced that WMG would be making contributions to Black Lives Matter and other organizations “doing crucial work to combat racial injustice”.Music Business Worldwide

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