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Old 05-10-2011, 01:50 AM
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Default Warner Music Purchased by Billionaire, is EMI next?

Some highlights from the story:

NEW YORK Access Industries' $3.3 billion winning bid to buy Warner Music Group adds another media company to Len Blavatnik's empire and sets the stage for a possible bid for rival EMI Group.

Blavatnik's all-cash deal for Warner values the world's third-largest music company at $8.25 a share plus debt.

Blavatnik is likely to keep Warner Music's management in place and turn to the team to lead a run for EMI.

EMI is owned by Citigroup, which took control of the company after its former private equity owner Terra Firma defaulted on loans.

Blavatnik agreed to pay a 63 percent premium to Warner's share price on Jan. 20 when news broke that the music company's board had assigned advisers to explore its strategic options including a sale.

Blavatnik, 53, has been a U.S. citizen since 1984. He ranks No. 80 on the Forbes world billionaires list released in March, with a net worth of $10 billion.

Taking Warner Music away from the demands of being publicly traded is seen as an opportunity for Warner Music executives to take a bigger gamble on refocusing the company's traditional business model in the face of shrinking sales, rampant piracy and an uncertain digital future.
A couple in interesting points:
The widely reported story that the founder of Napstar would buy WB (and thus owning the Metallica's record company contract) is now a dead story.

With WB no longer tied to stock holders, there is a small chance the company could go back to actually signing artists for long term musical ability, and not just a quick buck to appease the stock price. But that is just speculation.

If this same Billionaire does go after EMI, that would be there would only be 3 majors record companies left in the world. Given the EMI was seized by creditors and is currently being run by a credit card company, it would not be surprising if such a sale were to occur.

Such a merger would be bad for the employees, as massive layoffs would result from a merger. However, with lower costs and private ownership, this has the potential to be a new era in what it means to be a major record label, and could have drastic changes to way major labels are run.

This has the potential to be the best thing that has happened to the music industry in some time, or could also end up being the worst thing, given all the power will be held by one person.
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