Time Warner completes sale of music group

MUMBAI: Time Warner has announced that it has completed the sale of Warner Music Group (WMG), including its recorded music operations and Warner/Chappell music publishing business. It was sold to an investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Edgar Bronfman, Jr.'s Music Capital Partners, Bain Capital and Providence Equity Partners for approximately $2.6 billion in cash.

The transaction establishes WMG as the world's largest privately held independent music company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Time Warner has retained the option to buy up to 15 per cent of the company at any time during the three years following the closing, and as much as 19.9 per cent of the Company under certain circumstances.

WMG's new chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. was quoted in a company release saying, "Warner Music Group is well positioned to be extremely successful as an independent company, both creatively and financially. 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."

Time Warner chairman and CEO Dick Parsons added, "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."

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