Parlophone Records, the once legendary record label, has been bought by Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik and his Warner Music Group for £500 million.
Parlophone has the likes of Coldplay, Tinie Tempah and Blur on its roster and Blavatnik’s purchase makes him an even stronger power in the music game. Back in 2011 he bought the Warners group for £2 billion, and now he has all of Parlophone and other EMI assets that were put up for sale by Universal after they’d taken over the company. Parlophone’s roster also includes the likes of Ed Sheeran, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars and they’ll join the Warner roster, which owns back catalogues by Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac. They can add classic albums by David Bowie, Kraftwerk and Pink Floyd to that list.
There had been much controversy about Universal taking over EMI, which effectively made three major record labels – including Warner – become two. Ultimately it was agreed that Universal would avoid a monopoly if they sold off 30% of EMI’s assets in order for the takeover to go ahead, and its these which Blavatnik has taken control of. According to The Independent, Blavatnik said “This is a very important milestone for Warner Music, reflecting our commitment to artist development by strengthening our worldwide roster, global footprint and executive talent.”