NEW YORK (
Warner Music Group
for $3.3 billion, or $8.25 a share.
Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik's company won the auction to take control of the world's third-largest music company.
Shares of Warner Music were gaining 2.7%, up 21 cents, to $8.11 on Friday after the takeover announcement.
Through the deal, Access will acquire WMG's entire recorded music and music publishing businesses, the company said in a statement. The all-cash deal is expected to close in the third quarter.
"We believe this transaction is an exceptional value-maximizing opportunity that serves the best interests of stockholders as well as the best interests of music fans, our recording artists and songwriters, and the wonderful people of this company," said Warner Music Chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman.
The purchase price of $8.25 a share is about a 34% premium over Warner Music's average share price over the past six months.
Blavatnik's bid beat out last-round bids from Tom and Alec Gores' Platinum Equity/The Gores Group and
in partnership with Guggenheim Partners and investor Ron Perelman.
Blavatnik, a long-time associate of Bronfman, was a director of Warner Music from 2004 to 2008. Before the buyout deal, Blavatnik already owned about 2% of Warner Music.
-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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