Britain’s Tate museum group has officially named the recently opened extension of Tate Modern after Len Blavatnik, the billionaire industrialist whose Access Industries has branched out into music, film and television.The new Blavatnik Building has been named in recognition of the donation from Blavatnik's family foundation, which pledged a reported £50 million ($65 million) gift to the Tate in 2011. Blavatnik said the Tate provided an “incomparable service to the arts, culture and education throughout the world,” and that his...
Leonard “Len” Blavatnik is a Ukranian-born businessman whose massive conglomerate, Access Industries, maintains companies and investments across a plethora of industries, including petrochemicals, oil, and real estate. In Hollywood, however, he’s best known for his more recent ventures into film producing, and as the owner of Warner Music Group.
Blavatnik’s company acquired WMG for $3.3 billion in 2011, though Access had been a significant shareholder since 2004. While it is the No. 3 major label group — after Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment — it is home to the powerhouse Atlantic Records as well as Warner Bros., Parlophone, assorted subsidiary labels and the publishing company Warner/Chappell Music; the label group’s artists include Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Green Day, Wiz Khalifa, Paramore, and many others, and one of the greatest label catalogs in the world, with songs by Aretha Franklin, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and thousands of others.
WMG’s biggest move under Blavatnik’s stewardship was its acquisition of Parlophone for $764 million in 2013. A former EMI subsidiary – which UMG was forced by regulators to divest after it acquired EMI’s recorded music in 2011 – the label boasts artists such as Coldplay, Gorillaz, and Kylie Minogue, although its lucrative rights to the Beatles’ recorded music catalog remained under the control of UMG.
Blavatnik, a dual citizen of the U.S. and the U.K., entered the film business in 2009, when he acquired the UK operations of Icon Entertainment. Later rebranding the company as AI Film, Blavatnik has executive produced such films as “The Butler,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Get the Gringo,” and “Woman in Gold.”
The London-based mogul is also a noted philanthropist, whose charitable works were recognized with a Knighthood in 2017.