Despite slumping album sales and a murky industry, Warner Music Group remains a hot commodity. The company, which is considered the third largest record label in the industry, has been sold to Russian oil tycoon Len Blavatnik. According to the Los Angeles Times, Blavatnik’s company, Access Industries, purchased the Warner Music Group Corp for $3.3 billion in cash.
Blavatnik, who served as a Warner board member between 2004 and 2008, edged out more than a dozen other bidders including Sony Music Group and Live Nation Entertainment. Forbes reports that Blavatnik is expected to lead the label’s operations.
Warner Music Group is made up of Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records, Rhino Entertainment, and a number of independent and international labels. Their artists include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Metallica, R.E.M., and Muse, among others.
Blavatnik and Access Industries are also said to have interest in purchasing another one of the industry’s major labels, EMI, which is expected to be sold later this year. If successful, Warner Bros. and EMI would be merged to form the world’s largest music company.