It’s official: Warner Music Group has bought Hip-Hop label 300 Entertainment for a reported $400 million.
300 rose to become a prominent hip-hop label with acts such as Fetty Wap and Young Thug and now their star signee, Megan Thee Stallion. “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” Mary J. Blige also signed with the independent label last month. 300 co-founder and CEO Kevin Liles will be appointed chairman & CEO of 300 and Elektra Music Group.
Warner Music, home to artists like Cardi B, Lizzo and Ed Sheeran, last month raised $535m in debt to support acquisitions. The reported buy of 300 was more than $400m but the exact amount was not disclosed. 300 has been distributed by Atlantic Records since its launch about a decade ago, 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 have separate office in New York.
Warner Music CEO Max Lousada 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.”
Liles said, “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.”
Warner went public last year and is currently valued at $22bn on the Nasdaq.