Investor Group Led By Thomas H. Lee Partners, Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Bain Capital And Providence Equity Partners Completes Purchase Of Warner Music Group From Time Warner
Transaction Creates the World's Largest Privately Held Independent Music Company
Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) and an investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Edgar Bronfman, Jr.'s Music Capital Partners, Bain Capital and Providence Equity Partners today announced that the investor group has completed its purchase of Warner Music Group (WMG), including its recorded music operations and Warner/Chappell music publishing business, for approximately $2.6 billion in cash. The transaction establishes WMG as the world's largest privately held independent music company.
"Warner Music Group is well positioned to be extremely successful as an independent company, both creatively and financially," said Edgar Bronfman, Jr., the new Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group. "Over the past several weeks, members of the investor group and I have been working very closely with WMG's senior management, and we intend to move quickly to implement a strategy that will enable the Company not only to meet the challenges of the current environment, but also to take full advantage of future opportunities. I greatly appreciate the enthusiasm and help of the talented, dedicated people of WMG in making this transaction possible. I look forward to working closely with them and with the extraordinary lineup of artists who make up the WMG creative family."
Scott Sperling, Managing Director of Thomas H. Lee Partners, said: "Warner Music Group's roster of world-renowned artists and brands, its extensive catalog of legendary recordings and its exceptional management team provide a strong foundation on which to build. We look forward to creating an even more agile and efficient business that will help redefine the music industry and realize the full potential of a great company, as well as expand future opportunities for the outstanding men and women at WMG."
Time Warner Chairman and CEO Dick Parsons said: "We will miss the great people of Warner Music Group and certainly wish them only the best. Under Edgar's leadership, the management team at Warner Music Group will be among the best in the business. This transaction has enabled us to reach our net debt target nearly a full year ahead of time, and we intend to deploy the proceeds of this sale toward high-growth, high-return opportunities both inside and outside our company."
Under the terms of the agreement, Time Warner retains the option to buy up to 15% of the Company at any time during the three years following the closing, and as much as 19.9% of the Company under certain circumstances.
About Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group, with its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, is the world's largest privately held independent music company. The Company is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Atlantic, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire, operates through 37 affiliates and numerous licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide. For more information about Warner Music Group, visit our corporate website at www.wmg.com [ http://www.wmg.com/ ].
About Time Warner Inc.
Time Warner Inc. is the world's leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include filmed entertainment, interactive services, television networks, cable systems and publishing.