Warner Music Group, the major label acquired by Len Blavatnick and Access Industries in 2011, has completed its acquisition of the Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group in a deal announced in May. The deal was closed for £487 million (roughly $740 million).
Along with Parlophone, the transaction sees 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 all moving under the WMG umbrella.
“This is a defining moment for Warner Music,” wrote Access CEO Len Blavatnick in a statement, “which is strengthened today by the addition of PLG’s acclaimed roster, renowned catalog and gifted executives. This acquisition further cements Warner Music’s place as the world’s best home for extraordinary artists.”
At the time of the deal’s announcement, longtime PLG CEO David Kassler announced he would be stepping down, saying at the time that “I have made the difficult decision to step down from my role as CEO. My time at EMI and PLG has been immensely rewarding and I have enjoyed the challenge of steering EMI Music and Parlophone Label Group through different ownerships, numerous creative achievements and two acquisition deals over the last 12 months. It feels like the time is right to pursue new challenges in my career but I will continue to lead PLG through to completion before handing over to Steve Cooper and the Warner Music team.”
“This acquisition unites two companies synonymous with incredible music,” wrote WMG CEO Stephen Cooper, “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.”
Chairman & CEO of UMG Lucian Grainge, who oversaw the EMI purchase and the divestment of Parlophone in order to receive EU approval, said in a separate stament that, “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.”