Record label

Warner Music buys 300 Entertainment label for $400 million

Warner Music Group has agreed to buy 300 Entertainment, the label behind rapper Megan Thee Stallion and other artists, for more than $400 million, the latest deal in a frenzied music asset market.

Co-founded by music moguls Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles in 2012, 300 has grown into a top independent hip-hop label with artists including Fetty Wap and Young Thug.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the company was sold to Warner for more than $400 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Cohen, who left 300 to work at YouTube, said, “300 is a way of life and is in very good hands.”

The sale comes as music industry revenue has grown for five consecutive years, transforming the scale of the business and increasing the appeal of song copyrights as investments.

The three major record labels – Warner, Universal Music and Sony Music – are now competing to buy music assets with private equity groups as well as specialist investors such as Hipgnosis. Private equity firms Blackstone, KKR and Apollo have committed billions of dollars to buying music copyrights in recent months.

The result was a price spike and a sales frenzy.

Warner Music, home to singers Lizzo and Ed Sheeran, raised $535 million in debt last month to back the acquisitions.

Liles, the former label president of Def Jam, runs the New York-based 300. Its biggest stars are Megan Thee Stallion, the Texas rapper whose songs have been used the most on TikTok this year, and Mary J Blige.

Warner went public last year, taking advantage of investor enthusiasm for the music industry. Its great rival Universal Music went public this year.

Warner, which is valued at $22 billion on the Nasdaq, is controlled by Access Industries, the holding company of Ukrainian-born billionaire Sir Leonard Blavatnik, through supervisory stocks. Blavatnik acquired Warner for $3.3 billion as the music industry was in the grip of a piracy crisis.