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On Sept. 28, Universal Music Group completed its long-awaited acquisition of EMI with sign-offs from major trade organizations in the U.S. and Europe. Although the deal stipulates divesting certain assets, the combined entity will be home to Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum, The Beatles and The Beach Boys (from the EMI side) along with UMG’s marquee acts including U2, Lady Gaga, Eminem and No Doubt, among dozens more.
The company will also bring together such labels as Blue Note, Capitol Records, Decca, Def Jam, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Records, Geffen, Interscope, Island, Mercury, Motown, Polydor, Universal Latino, Universal Nashville, Virgin and Verve Music Group.
“This is a next step towards ensuring the health of our industry,” said UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge upon announcing the deal last week. Today, the British executive sent a memo to his staff marking the first day of their new venture. Read the note in its entirety below:
Today is about music.
It is about Universal Music’s historic acquisition of EMI Recorded Music.
First and foremost, this is a day to recognize the artists and musicians whose creativity and imagination are our reason for being here. They trust us to nurture their development, help them build audiences globally, and enable them to earn the rewards which come with originality and talent.
Today is also about music fans. By bringing a greater diversity of music and more choice to more fans all over the world, we will win hearts and minds and fulfill our mission as the world’s leading music company.
Our plan in acquiring EMI is to invest in the company, to remove the uncertainty of its recent history, and to reinvigorate its legacy.
In doing so, we are poised to deliver a historic opportunity to regain growth for our artists, employees, shareholders and the industry.
Now we can deliver.
Our multi-label architecture and commitment to invest in growth, no matter what the headwinds are, has enabled us to attract the best talent all around the world, and EMI fits perfectly into this. We will ensure that all of our labels and creative centres, across both our companies, will benefit from the resources and opportunities flowing from our new, strengthened group.
Music is at another transformational moment in its history, as digital, ancillary exploitation and e-commerce grows.
We are at the cusp of a new era in music. It needs more, not less, investment, commitment, innovation and experimentation.
That is what the EMI acquisition allows us to accelerate, the future growth of the industry itself. I have made a manifesto commitment to talent acquisition, musical and technological innovation, and broad, non-discriminatory licensing that is a call to action for the entire industry.
Universal Completes $1.9 Billion EMI Recorded Music Acquisition
There will be more to tell you about our plans in the months ahead.
In the meantime, I want to thank all of you — at both UMG and EMI — for your professionalism and hard work during the last several months.
I know that it hasn’t been easy, and I couldn’t be more proud or more appreciative of how everyone rose to the challenge.
I’ll say it again, today is about music.
For our new team members who don’t know me yet, I’ve dedicated my entire professional career to working with people who have music in their blood.
Now we can move forward and empower a new generation of artists and entrepreneurs.
Our future together is going to be exciting.
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