Warner Music Group went up for sale in January, but the label hadn't yet finalized a buyer -- perhaps because it has lost more than $10 billion in ten years. Now, WMG has finally been sold, as Access Industries has agreed to buy the struggling company for $3.3 billion.
Billboard reports that Warner's board of directors have given the deal a thumbs-up, and the two companies are waiting for stockholders' approval. The transaction will likely be completed by the third quarter of 2011.
It's worth noting that the $3.3 billion figure also includes Warner's massive debt, which is close to $2 billion.
The sale meant that Warner's shares have spiked to $8.04 as of early Friday (May 6). This isn't bad, considering that they dipped all the way down to $1.58 in March 2009. The Access Industries deal is worth $8.25 per share.
Access is a U.S.-based company that includes divisions for natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications and real estate.
In a statement, Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. said of the deal:
We believe this transaction is an exceptional value-maximizing opportunity that serves the best interests of stockholders, as well as the best interests of music fans, our recording artists and songwriters, and the wonderful people of this company. We are delighted that Access will be the new steward of this outstanding business. They are supportive of the company's vision, growth strategy and artists, while bringing a fresh entrepreneurial perspective and expertise in technology and media. Most importantly, Access supports Warner Music's commitment to our recording artists and songwriters who are the foundation of our current and future success.
Let's hope, for the sake of the music industry, that this deal goes better than EMI's takeover by Terra Firma.