The winner of the bidding war for Warner Music Group is Len Blavatnik, chairman and founder of US industrial group Access Industries. It has acquired WMG in an all-cash transaction worth $3.3 billion, which includes both the recorded music and publishing businesses. Access is paying $8.25 per share – 34.4% up on the average share price for the last six months. WMG CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr is chuffed. “We are delighted that Access will be the new steward of this outstanding business. They are supportive of the company’s vision, growth strategy and artists, while bringing a fresh entrepreneurial perspective and expertise in technology and media.” Access secured funding from Credit Suisse and UBS Investment Bank for the acquisition, which takes WMG private (and thus means its financial results will now not be public). Now that the deal has been done, speculation is swirling over whether Blavatnik will make a move for part or all of EMI. Indie group Impala has already warned that it won’t take such a move lying down, saying it would “be blocked unless there are substantial remedies to solve the competition problems of going from four to three majors”. Source: WMG Source: Digital Music News

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