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Warner’s purchase of Parlophone Label Group approved by European Commission

By | Published on Wednesday 15 May 2013


The European Commission has granted approval for the sale of the Parlophone Label Group to Warner Music, it has just been announced.

As previously reported, when it acquired EMI last year, Universal Music was forced by competition regulators to sell the Parlophone Label Group – which includes the UK-based Parlophone frontline label and catalogue, some more British EMI archive, and EMI operations in various other European markets – and it was announced that Warner would buy it in February in a £478 million deal.

In a statement, PLG CEO David Kassler told CMU: “I welcome the European Commission’s approval of the acquisition of Parlophone Label Group by Warner Music, it marks a significant milestone for both businesses and the music industry overall. The combined position of WMG and PLG in the market will provide a strong competitor to the other majors and the creative successes of PLG, which continue to flourish – Gabrielle Aplin is on course for a high debut chart position in the UK and Pablo Alboran at number one in the Spanish album chart – demonstrates the strength of talent that WMG is acquiring”.

He added that with the merger complete, he will now step down from his position at the company: “As this acquisition nears completion, I have made the difficult decision to step down from my role as CEO. My time at EMI and PLG has been immensely rewarding and I have enjoyed the challenge of steering EMI Music and Parlophone Label Group through different ownerships, numerous creative achievements and two acquisition deals over the last twelve months. It feels like the time is right to pursue new challenges in my career but I will continue to lead PLG through to completion before handing over to Steve Cooper and the Warner Music team”.

In a memo to staff last month, Warner boss Stephen Cooper said that Parlophone will operate as another frontline label within the Warner business, alongside Atlantic and Warner Bros, suggesting the brand will become active in more territories that under EMI. He added that the classical catalogues and brands that would also come with the acquisition would be used to “reinvigorate” Warner’s approach to the genre.