(UPDATE 2) It's official, the new owner of Warner Music Group is Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik and his Access Industries. The purchase price of $3.3 billion in cash or $8.25 per share represents a 34.4% premium over the volume-weighted 6 month average share price of $6.14. Some observers expect the investor to next take a run at EMI and combine the two companies.
Following the closing of the transaction, WMG will become a privately held company and its stock will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In addition to stockholder approval, the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. It is anticipated that the transaction will be completed in the third calendar quarter of this year.
Blavatnik had a seat on the WMG board for 4 years and already owned2% of the company. Born in 1957 in Moscow, Blavatnik currently lives in New York and London. By some measures, he is the world’s 80th wealthiest man. Forbes estimates his fortune at $10.1 billion.
Most of his wealth comes fron his Access Industries, which is a part owner in AAR, a group of Russian oligarchs (Blavatnik reportedly hates the term) that owns 50% of energy giant TNK-BP. The other half is owned by BP.