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WMG acquires majority of Roadrunner

Monday, December 18, 2006 9:23 AM PT


Warner Music Group Corp. today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 73.5 percent of Roadrunner Music Group B.V., which includes Roadrunner Records, one of the leading hard rock and heavy metal labels, for $73.5 million in purchase price and other considerations.

In the United States, Roadrunner will become a freestanding label group within WMG's Atlantic Records Group. Roadrunner's international affiliates will become freestanding units within WMG's Warner Music International. Roadrunner Managing Director, Cees Wessels, will continue to run the company he founded. There will be no staff changes as part of the acquisition.

Lyor Cohen, WMG's Chairman and CEO of U.S. Recorded Music, said, "Very rarely do you find a record company with such a longstanding reputation and distinct viewpoint that its very name rises to the level of true brand. Roadrunner, from its strong artist roster to its deep catalog and first-rate creative team, embodies the hard rock aesthetic to its core. Cees and I shared great success when we brought Roadrunner into the IDJ family in 2001, so naturally I'm thrilled today to welcome Cees and his team to Warner Music Group. We look forward to building upon Roadrunner's 25 years of success together."

"It was predestined that Lyor Cohen and I would work together again. Five years ago, before Nickelback broke massively worldwide, Lyor recognized the power of the Roadrunner brand, its artists and the creative talent of the staff," comments Cees Wessels on his initial partnership with Cohen. "Today, after continuous strong growth of the label, I feel proud that we are partners again. Roadrunner has become part of a forward-thinking group of companies that not only looks with confidence to the future, but also still retains the creative spirit of the founder of Atlantic, Ahmet Ertegun."

Founded in 1980 in the Netherlands, Roadrunner Music Group is one of the industry's leading Hard Rock label groups, with subsidiaries in eight countries around the world. The group's headquarters will remain in the Netherlands with offices in New York within the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan and Australia.

The company has enjoyed strong momentum over the past several years. This year alone, Roadrunner has increased its SoundScan market share in the Hard Music genre (which includes both Hard Rock and Heavy Metal) by more than two percentage points. The label's multi-Platinum, Grammy-nominated artist, Nickelback, is responsible for the No. 1 Hard Music album for 2005 and year-to-date 2006 in the U.S.

In addition to Nickelback, Roadrunner's roster includes multi-Platinum Grammy winner Slipknot, Grammy-nominated Stone Sour, Killswitch Engage, Theory of a Deadman, Megadeth, Black Label Society and Trivium, among others.

Roadrunner has been at the forefront of the Hard Music genre for more than 25 years, a genre that has outpaced the overall U.S. industry. According to NPD MusicWatch, Hard Rock/Heavy Metal has experienced the greatest increase in market share of any subgenres of Rock in 2006 over the prior year.

In four of the last five years, Roadrunner has had at least one of the five top-selling Hard Music acts in the U.S. with releases from Nickelback. With the acquisition of Roadrunner, WMG will have the top three labels in Hard Music based on 2006 year-to-date SoundScan figures: Warner Bros. at No. 1; Atlantic at No. 2; and Roadrunner at No. 3.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in Germany and is expected to close in January 2007.


29 comments


12/18/2006 9:25:56 AM
first post

12/18/2006 9:28:45 AM
some poeple should just die

12/18/2006 9:29:56 AM
what the fck

12/18/2006 9:34:02 AM
Remember when they had good bands like Gorguts, Malevolent Creation, etc...

12/18/2006 9:37:53 AM
no read no reply

12/18/2006 9:42:12 AM
who gives a shit? nobody

12/18/2006 9:47:27 AM
What they will end up doing with their old catalogues is all that matters in this deal.

12/18/2006 9:51:24 AM
you know what'd be awesome? if they fcking reissued all the old death metal records. and not in that shitty '2 from the vault' cds. like actual cds w/ original artwork. look at the fcking money you have now, dingbats.

12/18/2006 9:57:46 AM
The amount of money they have now is telling them not to bother re-releasing any death metal shit that won't even sell anyway. It'd be cool to see but they'd spend more money than they'd make doing that. Probably.

12/18/2006 10:08:55 AM
Warner definitley didn't acquire this cause Lyor Cohen (formerly of Def Jam) is into Goreguts or Obituary, they saw $$$ and pounced.

12/18/2006 10:20:53 AM
no care about road runner. they might as well have allready been on wmg

12/18/2006 10:28:11 AM
I guess It would be beating a dead horse to say that Roadrunner has always been a joke label.

12/18/2006 10:38:23 AM
this news update said nickelback several times. that's unfortunate. i dont think trivium or killswitch are any better though, so whatever. once roadrunner had cynic. that was awesome.

12/18/2006 10:51:37 AM
testing testing

12/18/2006 11:23:44 AM
Sepultura, Suffocation, Malevolent Creation, Gorguts........ Nickleback

12/18/2006 11:34:28 AM
"if this is punk rock, we're fcked, we're fcked"

12/18/2006 12:48:22 PM
roadrunner wasn't ALWAYS a joke label.

12/18/2006 12:51:43 PM
Roadrunner has had a lot of good bands, but they've also had Coal Chamber and have and currently are home to some of the worst "heavy" music has to offer. They had Spineshank.

12/18/2006 1:32:44 PM
the world's best hard c-ck label for c-ck heads... pro-pain.

12/18/2006 1:37:37 PM
Damn! that's a lot of money. with as much as that label makes though and their bands now....they couldve gotten at least 150 million though.

12/18/2006 1:38:35 PM
Hey vdburns, isnt spineshank that band that butched the Beatles song "while my guitar gently weeps?"

12/18/2006 1:39:17 PM
butchered* shit!

12/18/2006 3:51:40 PM
Good, let 'em buy roadrunner up. Then in 2 years when Nickleback isn't cool anymore and Slipknot has their own reality series VH1 where they live with Trivium...

12/18/2006 9:14:49 PM
RR just licensed through Metal Mind BEAUTIFUL digipack reissues of: Gorguts, Heathen, Crimson Glory, Atrophy, Toxik, Realm, Xentrix, Solitude Aeturnus, Znowhite, Last Crack, Disincarnate, Bulldozer...

12/18/2006 10:10:00 PM
im listening to STP... why would i care about this?

12/19/2006 1:00:08 AM
whats funny about this is roadrunner sold out like 8 years ago it just took them this long to find someone to buy in...good times, good times

12/19/2006 1:03:27 AM
In addition to Nickelback, Roadrunner's roster includes multi-Platinum Grammy winner Slipknot, Grammy-nominated Stone Sour, Killswitch Engage, Theory of a Deadman, Megadeth, Black Label Society and Trivium, among others.

12/19/2006 1:03:51 AM
Now thats tough music!

12/21/2006 10:37:42 AM
anyone remember when they were roadracer?