UMG acquires Univision Music Group

Deal combines Univision and Universal's Latin labels

MIAMI -- After an extraordinary seven-year run, Univision Music Group has been acquired in full by Universal Music Group. The final acquisition, announced Monday following the Federal Trade Commission's approval of the deal, makes UMG the largest Latin music company in North America with a 49.84% share of the U.S. Latin music market, according to Nielsen SoundScan numbers.

The new company, which will combine Univision and Universal's Latin labels, will be called Universal Music Latin Entertainment and will be led by Jesus Lopez, Universal's current chairman and CEO for Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, who presides over Universal's entire Latin operation. Universal Music Latin Entertainment will be a division of Universal Music Latin America, which Lopez already leads, and whose labels include Universal Music Latino and Machete.

The combined company will include: Universal Music Latino; Machete; the newly acquired labels from the Univision purchase (Fonovisa, Univision Records and Disa); Universal Music Mexico and Central America; and Latin publishing in the U.S. and Mexico, including the newly acquired Edimonsa, Disa and the Fonovisa catalogs.

Lopez, whose tenure at Universal has been marked by innovative measures -- including the creation of GTS Global Talent Services, a management service division -- and a strategic global approach to artist development, will continue to be based out of Miami, reporting to Zach Horowitz, president and COO of Universal Music Group.

The music company was launched in 2001 by Jose Behar, an entrepreneurial executive who had previously launched EMI's U.S. Latin division from scratch. As president and CEO, Behar subsequently built up Univision to become the leading Latin music company in the country, according to Nielsen SoundScan, signing acts to the fledgling label and later overseeing the purchase of Fonovisa, the leading Latin indie, and later, regional Mexican powerhouse Disa records. In an effort to diversify the label, Behar also launched La Calle records, a label specializing in urban, tropical and pop.

Following the Universal acquisition, Behar has left the company.

In a statement, Lopez thanked Behar for the contributions made to the company and wished him "the very best in all of his future endeavors."

"I am truly grateful to Zach (Horowitz) for this exciting opportunity," Lopez said of his new position. "It is a privilege to continue working so closely with him and the entire Latin music team as we build this new company, complete with such a rich history and one of the most dynamic groups of artists and executives in the business."

Universal Music Latin Entertainment's roster will now be a formidable arsenal that includes acts such as Marco Antonio Solis, Los Tigres del Norte, Wisin & Yandel, Conjunto Primavera, Paulina Rubio and Enrique Iglesias.