Warner Music buys EMI’s Parlophone label for $765 million

By Daniel S Levine,

Warner Music Group scored a big win on Thursday, snapping up nearly £500 million ($765 million) worth of EMI assets from Vivendi’s Universal Music Group. The deal includes the iconic Parlophone group.

According to The Telegraph, this is bad news for Sony and BMG, which hoped to add artists like coldplay and David Guetta to its roster.

Universal had to sell off Parlophone as part of its acquisition of EMI for £1.2 billion last year. In order for the deal to be approved by EU regulators, Universal agreed to sell off some assets. However, The New York Times notes that the label made sure it kept some of the most lucrative EMI catalogs, including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Katy Perry and Lady Antebellum.

Warner Music’s purchase includes the entire Parlophone group and its subsidiaries like the Parlophone and Chrysalis labels. In addition to Coldplay and Guetta, the group’s artists include Pink Floyd and Iron Maiden.

Sony does own a piece of EMI. Last year, it purchased EMI’s publishing arm.

“This is a very important milestone for Warner Music, reflecting our commitment to artist development by strengthening our worldwide roster, global footprint and executive talent,” Len Blavatnik, the founder of Access Industries, which owns Warner Music, said in a statement.

Warner Music is the smallest of the three major labels and has failed to merge with EMI in the past, so this news is a big win for the company.

The Times reports that Universal still has even more assets to sell off. The EU required that they sell off assets to ensure that the company doesn’t dominate the music market.



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