Published Nov 11, 2010Currently one of the largest metal labels going, Roadrunner Records started as Roadracer Records in 1980, launching the careers of everyone from King Diamond and Thor to Slipknot and Dragonforce. In 2007, Warner Music Group acquired 73.5 percent of the company. Now, it has bought the remaining portion and made the imprint an official label in the group.
Here's the full statement from Roadrunner CEO and founder Cees Wessels [via Billboard]:
Since joining the Warner Music family, we have enjoyed some of our greatest creative and commercial successes as a label. Most importantly, we have retained our unique identity while also expanding our horizons, thanks in part to the tremendous expertise and experience we can tap into as part of the Warner Music family and the relationships we have built with our Warner Music colleagues around the world. I am very proud that Roadrunner is now a fully-fledged stable mate of such iconic labels as Atlantic, Warner Bros. Records, Elektra, Asylum and Rhino, and I believe that we are in this position thanks to our team's hard work and consistently original approach over the years.
Wessels will remain in charge of Roadrunner. A source tells Billboard that most of the staffing changes are expected to take place at Roadrunner's corporate head office in the Netherlands.
While it would be easy to call a formerly independent label "sell outs" when they team up with a major label, keep in mind that, despite its humble beginnings and some solid metal releases, Roadrunner was also responsible for breaking Nickelback and Theory of a Deadman on a global scale.