Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) got at least $9 million back of the $20 million it invested in online music service Lala.com, after the latter’s sale to Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), according to a proxy statement it filed this morning. This after it wrote down $11 million of its $20 million investment earlier last year, after disappointing results. Besides the money invested, WMG also had warrants worth $4 million which were exercisable based on whether Lala.com was able to help sell 25 million CDs in 5 years after the original 2007 agreement. No surprise, that didn’t happen. It had to do an even bigger writeoff with Imeem, the music service that was also sold last year, to MySpace, for a pennies on the dollar.
Some details from the SEC filing about Lala: “In Dec 2009, the Company sold its equity interest in la la and entered into an agreement to terminate a memorandum of terms relating to the formation of an international joint venture for total cash consideration of approximately $9.0 million as part of a sale of la la to Apple Inc. The warrants had an exercise price that was in excess of the total merger consideration paid in respect of the shares for which it could be exercised and, therefore, expired at the time of the closing of the sale of la la to Apple Inc.”
Meanwhile, WMG also has a 2008 deal with mobile music/content aggregator Thumbplay, to provide music for ringtones and full track downloads, and as part of that it earned about $2.8 million of fees from Thumbplay in fiscal 2009.
Also in the proxy filing, details about WMG CEO Edgar Bronfman and other execs salaries for the last few years, and compensation going ahead. The general trend: nevermind the implosion of the music industry, we’ll keep getting our compensation, though with some relatively minor decreases. The table below shows the full exec compensation structure (click on it to get the full table):