LONDON - Vivendi's Universal Music Group said Friday that it has completed the $1.9 billion acquisition of EMI's recorded music arm.
"This is a next step towards ensuring the health of our industry," said UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge. "EMI is finally returning to people who have music in their blood. We are acquiring incredible labels and a roster of stellar talent, including top-selling artists like Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum, The Beatles and The Beach Boys. We remain true to our vision of investing in EMI, growing the company as a vibrant source of new music, offering consumers more choice and supporting the growth of online music services."
The combined company will bring together such labels as Blue Note, Capitol Records, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Records, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Records, Capitol Records Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Music Nashville, Virgin Records and Verve Music Group.
Grainge also thanked EMI boss Roger Faxon and his team "for their tremendous support over the last year and for staying focused on developing artists and delivering new music throughout this transition."
Earlier this month, UMG had received approval for the deal in the U.S. and from the European Union. The EU approval came under the conditions of a range of asset sales, including sale of the label housing such acts as Coldplay.
Vivendi said in a statement that the deal enables it to "significantly strengthen its ownership of exclusive content."
"With EMI, Universal Music Group enlarges its presence in countries such as the United States, Japan and Germany, the leading international music markets," the French media and telecom conglomerate said. "It increases its market share and develops its availability on all digital platforms, while remaining true to its vision: to invest in talent and offer consumers more music and choice."