Sean Parker Mulling Bid on Warner Music Group (Report)
Could the Napster founder and Facebook billionaire who famously fought the major labels end up owning the one that went after him?
As Warner Music Group begins to entertain bids for an imminent sale, a potential buyer consortium may include Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster whose equity stake in Facebook made him an instant billionaire. Parker is currently an adviser to Spotify, the successful music streaming service that has yet to launch in the U.S.
In a potential scenario that's fraught with irony, All Things Digital reports that Parker, who was portrayed by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network, isn’t part of a formal bid, but is aligned with a group led by investors Ron Burkle and Doug Teitelbaum and considering pledging a portion of his fortune to their offer. The asking price for WMG: $2.5 billion.
Parker went to war with the major labels back in 2000, when Metallica (a WMG act) sued Napster after one of their unreleased songs made its way around the peer-to-peer network. Napster eventually lost the case and the service was shut down two years later.
Currently, Spotify is also having issues with WMG who, along with Universal Music Group, have not come to terms with the Sweden-based company. Having Parker's name on the door at Warners may ease the gridlock.
ATD reports that Burkle and Teitlebaum represent one of at least five bidders looking at Warners and that a decision in expected in the next few weeks.