New York – Major record label Warner Music Group announced
on Friday that it has been acquired in a deal valued at $3.3 billion by Access
Industries, a private equity firm headed by Russian-born billionaire Len
Blavatnik. Blavatnik was already an equity investor in WMG, and previously
served on the company’s board.
The firm secured financing from Credit Suisse
and UBS for the transaction.
The deal will make the label a private company,
and its stock will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
of private equity firms acquired the record label from former parent company
Time Warner for $2.6 billion in 2004.
Warner Music put itself up for sale in
January, and had attracted a range of suitors that also included Ron Burkle; a joint
venture between Bertelsmann and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts; Sony Music;
Tamares; and Platinum Equity/Gores Group.
All Things D speculated that the
deal-making may not yet be over, as Warner Music has been keen on a combination
with fellow major label EMI, and the company had also considered selling off
its Warner/Chappell music publishing arm.
(All Things D)