As expected, Warner Music Group has acquired 300 Entertainment, home to Megan Thee Stallion – who won Best New Artist at this year’s Grammy Awards — Young Thug and his label Young Stoner Life, Gunna, Fetty Wap, Highly Suspect, the newly signed “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” Mary J. Blige, and others.
Since its launch nearly a decade ago, 300 has been distributed by Atlantic Records, and the acquisition “represents the expansion of an already successful partnership,” the announcement states. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources have placed it at around $400 million.
300 co-founder and CEO Kevin Liles will be appointed chairman & CEO across 300 and Elektra Music Group, which was established as a stand-alone label group by Atlantic several years ago. Elektra Music Group, which encompasses Fueled By Ramen, Roadrunner Records, Low Country Sound, DTA Records, and Public Consumption, will continue to be headed by co-presidents Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel, who will report to Liles.
Liles has a long history with Atlantic co-chair and COO Julie Greenwald; the two — pictured above, center and left, with Warner recorded music CEO Max Lousada on the right — worked together for many years at Def Jam, where Liles was president, as well as Warner Music Group, where he was EVP. They also worked closely at those companies with Lyor Cohen, who co-founded 300 in 2013 with Liles and fellow former Warner execs Roger Gold and Todd Moscowitz. Liles has also worked extensively as an artist manager — overseeing the careers of Mariah Carey, D’Angelo and Trey Songz at various times — and began his music career as an artist in the Baltimore-based DJ crew, Numarx.
According to the announcement, 300 will retain its independent identity, and the entirety of its team will continue to occupy separate headquarters in New York.
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.”
Cohen said, “Wonderful to see a good idea realized. 300 is a way of life and is in very good hands.”
Greenwald said, “I’ve enjoyed working with Lyor and Kevin for over 30 years. I can’t thank Lyor enough for everything, including entrusting us with 300. I’m excited we’re moving forward with Kevin – he’s always thinking about the future, especially the future of his artists and the future of his company, and how to ensure they thrive and impact culture. Since we launched EMG as a stand-alone label group in 2018, Mike and Gregg have been driven by an adventurous spirit, and they’ve done an incredible job developing brilliant artists and building a fantastic team. By bringing 300 into the fold, we’re creating a truly multi-genre operation designed to attract and nurture superstar talent across the musical spectrum.
Easterlin and Nadel said, “All of the labels in the Elektra family were founded by entrepreneurs who are passionate about music and always put their artists first. That philosophy drives everything we do, and we know that Kevin and the team at 300 are cut from the same cloth. We’re looking forward to putting our heads and hearts together and delivering for our phenomenal talent.”
The following people advised 300 on the deal: Aryeh B. Bourkoff and James Lindsay at LionTree LLC; David C. Eisman and Glen G. Mastroberte at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; and Neil S. Goldstein at Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C.