A Russian billionaire purchases the major label.
Warner Music Group has a new owner. The major label, the third largest in the industry, has been sold to the investment group Access Industries for $3.3 billion.
Home to such artists as Diddy, Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars, Janelle Monáe, Waka Flocka Flame and Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group, Warner had long been seeking a buyer to relieve the company of its growing debts. Russian billionaire and former Warner Music board member Len Blavatnik owns Access Industries, which has holdings in a wide variety of industries from natural gas to real estate.
According to the New York Times, Blavatnik is also interested in acquiring EMI, a move that, if approved, would significantly shrink the major label ecosystem as we know it.
In a statement, Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. indicated his belief that Access would be a supportive owner.
“We are delighted that Access will be the new steward of this outstanding business,” Bronfman said. “They are supportive of the company’s vision, growth strategy and artists, while bringing a fresh entrepreneurial perspective and expertise in technology and media.”
How this will impact the music roster at the label remains to be seen.
(Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)