Warner to sell Parlophone assets to indies
The agreement aims to encourage smaller labels to grow their market share and European independent music trade bodies IMPALA and Merlin confirmed they would be involved in overseeing its implementation. According to US trade publication Billboard, WMG will offer up to 33 percent of its newly acquired Parlophone assets to indies.
It is thought the new initiative could also help smooth the passage of WMG’s deal with Parlophone past EU regulators.
Earlier this month, WMG successfully acquired Parlophone for £487m. The deal was a forced divestment from Universal Music’s £1.2bn buyout of Parlophone’s parent company EMI last year.
Stephen Cooper, WMG chief executive, said: ‘We are pleased to have entered into an agreement under which we will work together with IMPALA and Merlin to support and strengthen the independent music community.
‘We believe this is an important step that will help to foster an environment in which the independent music community can continue to thrive and create new opportunities for growth, benefiting the music industry as a whole and all of its constituents.’
Charles Caldas, chief executive of Merlin, added: ‘We consistently said that the best result for our members was for the UMG/EMI transaction to be blocked outright.
‘Once it became clear that this was not going to happen, and that we were going to be faced with further market concentration, we had a duty to ensure our members had the best possible chance to continue to compete. This opportunity to grow into what would otherwise be an unbridgeable gap between the largest majors and the rest of the market, should improve their ability to do so.’