ER Music has bought the Parlophone record label from Universal Music, winning a bidding war against rivals including Sony Music and BMG.
Warner is paying £487m for the label, whose artist roster includes Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, Radiohead and Kraftwerk, after significantly outbidding three other parties for the label.
A joint bid from Sony Music and Bertelsmann’s BMG, an offer from media tycoon Simon Fuller, and one from US billionaire Ronald Perelman were also tendered.
Universal Music, owned by French media giant Vivendi, is being forced to sell off Parlophone – an arm of the EMI label – in order to win clearance for its £1.2bn takeover of EMI.
The sale cost more than many had expected, with Universal making back almost half the cost of its EMI purchase.
Warner has also bought rights to EMI’s catalogue of artists – which includes the Beatles – in nine European countries including France and Spain.
Warner does not expect to see the same competition issues that delayed Universal’s EMI deal.