London-based tycoon seals £2bn Warner Music deal
Saturday 07 May 2011
The Ukrainian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik has agreed to buy Warner Music Group for $3.3bn (£2bn), making him one of the industry's most powerful men.
Mr Blavatnik's Access Industries group is purchasing the business from two private equity firms and the company's chairman and chief executive, Edgar Bronfman Jr.
Warner's current board expects the deal to be completed in September. The buyout has raised some questions about how the new owner, who lives in a £41m mansion in West London, hopes to make money from Warner, given that it has registered losses for eight quarters in a row in an industry struggling to deal with digital consumption of music.
However, Jorg Mohaupt, Access's head of media, said the company would adapt and become profitable again. He said: "The industry is at a point where digital adoption is rapidly gaining momentum. Warner Music, as one of the most progressive forces in the business, is well positioned to capture this opportunity."
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