Warner Music Group Buys Parlophone From Universal

8 February 2013 | 11:26 am | Dan Condon

The legendary UK label has been acquired in an all cash deal.

The Warner Music Group has officially purchased the legendary Parlophone label from the Universal Music Group, it has been announced this morning, as Vivendi – the company that owns UMG, looks to strip back the assets it is required to following the acquisition of major label EMI.

In order for the EMI sale to be cleared late last year, EU regulators ordered Universal to sell off 30 percent of EMI's assets, including the catalogue of Mute Records (picked up by BMG late last year) and that of Virgin Classics and Chrysalis.

The deal is reported to be worth £487 million, according to Reuters, with Les Blavatnik's Access Industries, Warner Music's controlling company, acquiring the label in an all cash deal. This will be the first asset Warner has picked up from the EMI sale, a sale that they were largely critical of.

“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,” Blavatnik said of the deal.

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The Parlophone roster is a not insignificant one, the label looking after the recorded music of massive acts like Kylie Minogue (outside of Australasia), Coldplay, Gorillaz, Pink Floyd, Blur, David Guetta and scores of other high selling artists.

Speculation about the offloading of the famous label has been rife for some time now, with the imprint earmarked as a saleable asset for Vivendi before the acquisition of EMI was approved and conjecture about potential buyers circulating for months.

There was some concern from British industry figures about the iconic label falling into foreign ownership following the Universal deal, with talk of Idol creator Simon Fuller and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell would make a bid for the label.

One of the potential frontrunners for the acquisition was Sony BMG, but last month vocal European independent label body IMPALA asked the European Commission to step in, saying it would mean that company would have too much market share.

According to Billboard, the transaction will be settled some time mid-year.