Russian Oil Baron Buys Warner Music For $3.3 Billion

They say you can’t put a price on art, until you can.

Warner Music Group, home to some of the world’s biggest music acts including Metallica, Fleetwood Mac and Kylie Minogue was sold yesterday for $3.3 billion to the world’s 80th richest man, Len Blavatnik. The Moscow-born billionaire, who made his dough through a diverse range of investments including oil, plastics, telecommunications and real estate, had been on the board of Warner for four years and his company Access Industries already has holdings in a variety of other media outlets in Russia, the U.K and Israel. Many had anticipated the sale price would be lower (around $2 billion based on other estimates and negotiations prior to the acquisition), leading to speculation that the music industry hasn’t kicked the bucket just yet.

Business experts have speculated that Blavatnik may attempt to combine this purchase with the expected sale of EMI, currently owned by Citigroup to create a mega-label that will take on the other the two remaining major players in the industry, Sony and Universal. As one Hollywood consultant, Ted Cohen remarked: “[It] could be a very smart move. Where Warner is weak, EMI is strong. Where Warner is strong, EMI is weak. The two are very complementary.”

More collaborations for everyone!

via LA Times.