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Warner buys 300 Entertainment for $400m

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

The latest acquisition in a frantic market for music assets is Warner Music Group's agreement to buy 300 Entertainment, the record company behind rapper Megan Thee Stallion and other acts, for more than $400 million. 300 was launched in 2012 by music moguls Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles and has since grown to become a prominent independent hip-hop label with talents including Fetty Wap and Young Thug.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but according to persons familiar with the situation, the company was sold to Warner for more over $400 million. “300 is a way of life and is in very good hands.” Cohen, who has left 300 to work at YouTube, said.

The sale comes as the music industry's revenues have risen for five years in a row, altering the business's scale and increasing the appeal of song copyrights as investments. The Big Three record labels — Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music — are now competing with private equity firms and specialty investors like Hipgnosis to buy music assets.

In recent months, the private equity firms Blackstone, KKR, and Apollo have invested billions of dollars in the purchase of music copyrights. As a result, prices have skyrocketed and sales have been brisk. Warner Music, home to Lizzo and Ed Sheeran, raised $535 million in debt last month to fund acquisitions. New York-based 300 is led by Liles, the former president of the Def Jam label. Megan Thee Stallion, a Texas rapper whose songs were the most popular on TikTok this year, and Mary J Blige are among its biggest talents.

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