Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge was in bullish form late on Friday as in the wake of his company’s acquisition of EMI Music finally clearing EU and US regulatory hurdles. It was a long road that officially began when EMI went on the market some 15 months ago, continued through months of protracted negotiations that even saw him speaking at a U.S. Senate hearing in June. While he expressed regret he was unable to keep all of the iconic Parlophone label (as one the conditions of getting the deal), he promised to double A&R investment in the Virgin and Capitol labels. Here he told us about his plans for his company’s new acquisitions.
Q: How much in cost savings will UMG realize, following the concessions now required by the European Union?
A: Our number is at £100 million. That has not changed.
Q: How many jobs will have to be cut to help achieve that number?
A: It’s still too early to say.
Universal-EMI Merger: A Timeline Of Events
Q: How does this merger help Universal Music Group and the wider music industry?
A: To have a healthy, strong Capitol Records and Virgin Music is a good thing for the music industry. We will bring more investments by entrepreneurs and musicians than there have been for a long time. We will be doubling the A&R investment these labels have been making in recent years, and that will work its way through the industry ecosystem. EMI has been underinvested for a long while, through a tumultuous time which has been well documented. But I must say, [EMI CEO] Roger Faxon and his team have done a great job, even during an emotional period.
Continue reading the rest of the story on Billboard