The Universal Music Group, which is the biggest market-share holder in UK music, has announced it has reached an agreement to acquire the V2 Music Group from its current owners Morgan Stanley. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but speculation suggests the deal is worth in the region of £7m.
"V2 is recognized as a pioneer in independent music with a diverse artist roster that spans many musical genres," said Lucian Grainge. Grainge, who is Universal’s chairman and CEO, and pretty much owns your ass, is already in charge of such labels as Island, Polydor and Lizard King (home of the Killers). Whilst stamping on a small child’s toy and laughing megalomaniacally as he stroked his white cat, he added: "By applying our expertise in artist development and in the digital space, we'll be able to maximize and enhance the opportunities for its artists even further."
The bit that may interest you, young indie hero, is that as well as now playing human chess with V2's roster which includes the interminable likes of Stereophonics, Paul Weller, Anais, Isabelle Boulay and Henri Salvador, Universal now owns and operates the licensing organization Co-Operative Music. Resultantly, the music group will have a say over the umbrella operation that includes such independent labels as Bella Union, City Slang and Wichita Recordings. Co-Op is in charge of distributing and marketing these label’s artists throughout its worldwide network of labels.
V2 was founded by capitalist hippy Richard Branson in 1996 as he sought a return to the music industry following his sale of Virgin Music in the eighties, but large investment firm, Morgan Stanley, which provided financing for the company, ultimately wound up owning a 95% stake in the label.
Earlier this year, V2 sold off its North American operation which housed the likes of The White Stripes. The company stated that it was going to concentrate on exploiting its back catalogue and digital operation. Basically, it was losing money faster than a bank with its back door open.
Record companies: not worth shit these days.