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Warner buys 300 Entertainment for around $400m

December 16, 2021 By Murray Stassen

Original Article on Music Business Worldwide

Not only has Sony Music reportedly just bought Bruce Springsteen’s recorded music and publishing rights for $500 million, but today (December 16), it’s been confirmed that Warner Music Group has acquired New York-headquartered 300 Entertainment.

Warner’s acquisition of the hip-hop label, a long-term partner of WMG/Atlantic Records, was predicted by MBW last month after WMG raised $535 million.

The news also confirms a Bloomberg report from October, which suggested the label was up for sale at around $400 million.

Warner hasn’t disclosed what it paid for 300, but senior industry sources tell us that the mooted $400 million price tag is approximately accurate.

Led by CEO Kevin Liles, 300 Entertainment is one of the most successful modern independent labels in the United States.

The company was originally founded in 2012 by Liles alongside his former Warner Music and Def Jam colleague, Lyor Cohen.

Their fellow co-founders at 300 were Roger Gold (now manager of Camila Cabello) and respected A&R specialist, Todd Moscowitz.

Since its launch nearly a decade ago, 300 has been distributed by Atlantic Records, and WMG says the acquisition “represents the expansion of an already successful partnership”.

WMG says that 300 “will retain its independent identity,” and the entirety of its team will continue to occupy separate headquarters in New York.

It has also been announced today that Liles will be appointed Chairman & CEO across 300 and Elektra Music Group.

Elektra Music Group, which encompasses Fueled By Ramen, Roadrunner Records, Low Country Sound, DTA Records, and Public Consumption, will continue to be headed by Co-Presidents Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel, who will report to Liles.

With three decades of wide-ranging experience, Liles’ roles have included President of Def Jam Recordings, Executive Vice President of the Island Def Jam Music Group, EVP of Warner Music Group, and Founder/CEO of KWL Enterprises.

Liles began his music career as an artist in the Baltimore-based DJ crew, Numarx.

“We’re very happy to welcome 300 fully into the Warner community of labels, and Kevin to his new role on our senior management team.”

Max Lousada, Warner Recorded Music

Max Lousada, CEO, Warner Recorded Music, said: “At Warner Music, the independent spirit is part of our story, our DNA, and our vision. We’re creating the environment for original artists, entrepreneurs, and labels to pioneer the future of music.

“The 300 team has built an extraordinary brand, attracted a dynamic community of artists, and led the way for a new generation of labels. We’ll bring their artists and team a whole universe of opportunities to ignite passionate fanbases and develop long-term careers.

“We’re very happy to welcome 300 fully into the Warner community of labels, and Kevin to his new role on our senior management team.”

“It’s the perfect home for 300 artists and our team, as we invest in our independent vision and grow our global impact. Max, Julie, Gregg, and Mike – these are leaders we know and trust.”

Kevin Liles, 300

Kevin Liles, 300 Co-Founder & CEO, added: “At 300, we’re all about freedom – the freedom to create, the freedom to be intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs, the freedom to make music that changes the world.

“Independence is in our DNA and the team at Warner is like family, which makes this a natural evolution for us to do bigger family business.

“It’s the perfect home for 300 artists and our team, as we invest in our independent vision and grow our global impact. Max, Julie, Gregg, and Mike – these are leaders we know and trust.

“They understand the value we place on independence, individuality, and creativity. We’re going to accomplish amazing things together and take our artists and labels to a whole new global level.”

“Wonderful to see a good idea realized. 300 is a way of life and is in very good hands.”

Lyor Cohen, 300

Lyor Cohen, 300 Co-Founder, said: “Wonderful to see a good idea realized. 300 is a way of life and is in very good hands.”

“I’ve enjoyed working with Lyor and Kevin for over 30 years. I can’t thank Lyor enough for everything, including entrusting us with 300.”

Julie Greenwald, Atlantic Records

Julie Greenwald, Chairman & COO, Atlantic Records, added: “I’ve enjoyed working with Lyor and Kevin for over 30 years. I can’t thank Lyor enough for everything, including entrusting us with 300.

“I’m excited we’re moving forward with Kevin – he’s always thinking about the future, especially the future of his artists and the future of his company, and how to ensure they thrive and impact culture.

“Since we launched EMG as a stand-alone label group in 2018, Mike and Gregg have been driven by an adventurous spirit, and they’ve done an incredible job developing brilliant artists and building a fantastic team.

“By bringing 300 into the fold, we’re creating a truly multi-genre operation designed to attract and nurture superstar talent across the musical spectrum.”

“We’re looking forward to putting our heads and hearts together and delivering for our phenomenal talent.”

Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel, Elektra Music Group

Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel, Co-Presidents, Elektra Music Group, said: “All of the labels in the Elektra family were founded by entrepreneurs who are passionate about music and always put their artists first.

“That philosophy drives everything we do, and we know that Kevin and the team at 300 are cut from the same cloth. We’re looking forward to putting our heads and hearts together and delivering for our phenomenal talent.”

The following people advised 300 on the deal: Aryeh B. Bourkoff and James Lindsay at LionTree LLC; David C. Eisman and Glen G. Mastroberte at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; and Neil S. Goldstein at Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C.

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