After a busy week that included facing a lawsuit, investing in hip-hop site Loud and experimenting with DRM-free music sales, Universal Music Group (EPA:VIV) said it plans to buy UK-based independent record label V2 Music.
The label was launched in 1996 by Richard Branson after he sold Virgin Records to EMI; he now has a 5 percent stake in the company after selling off the rest to Morgan Stanley last year. V2 artists as alternative rock band Stereophonics and former Jam frontman Paul Weller. The label also controls Co-Operative Music, V2’s in-house licensing organization that includes other independent labels as Bella Union, City Slang and Wichita Recordings. UMG said that by taking V2 under its wing, the label’s artists could benefit from its development resources and distribution abilities within the digital space. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Release
Reuters: Citing a source familiar with the deal, the news service said the purchase price was about 7 million pounds ($14 million). Another source said the purchase price was likely higher since rival bids ran as high as “the mid-teens millions” of pounds.