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Monday, April 15, 2024

Universal Music Group Acquires Majority Stake in Nigerian Record Label Mavin Global

By John Adiasi

Universal Music Group Acquires Majority Stake in Nigerian Record Label Mavin Global

In a groundbreaking move, Universal Music Group has secured a majority stake in Mavin Global, the renowned Nigerian music label founded by the legendary Don Jazzy. Boasting a roster that includes music sensations like Rema, Ayra Starr, Crayon, and Ladipoe, Mavin Global has carved a niche for itself in the African music industry and beyond. The acquisition, subject to regulatory approval and anticipated for completion in the third quarter, was jointly announced by the two powerhouse companies.

While the specific financial terms remain undisclosed, industry insiders had previously speculated on Mavin’s valuation, with reports suggesting a figure between $150 million to $200 million. Notably, the deal’s intricacies regarding publishing rights have yet to be made public. Under the agreement, the visionary Don Jazzy, the brain behind Mavin since its inception in 2012, and COO Tega Oghenejobo will retain their pivotal roles within the label.

Lucian Grainge, UMG’s chairman and CEO, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, emphasizing the shared values of artistic excellence and entrepreneurial spirit. He lauded the Mavin team, led by Don Jazzy and Tega, for their pivotal role in propelling Afrobeats to global acclaim, underscoring the strategic partnership as a mutually beneficial growth opportunity.

This strategic investment marks a significant milestone for Mavin’s global expansion strategy, with a particular focus on enhancing the Artist Academy initiatives and nurturing future African music industry leaders. Oghenejobo highlighted UMG’s track record of fostering creative talents and business acumen, underscoring the shared vision to elevate African music onto the international stage.

The deal builds upon Mavin’s existing relationship with UMG, exemplified by the remarkable success of Rema’s chart-topping hit “Calm Down.” The song, a monumental success in Afrobeats history, garnered over 1 billion on-demand streams in the U.S. alone, solidifying its status as a global phenomenon. With a strategic focus on collaborative efforts, the partnership aims to amplify Mavin’s influence and reach worldwide, fostering a dynamic creative environment for African music’s ascent to new heights.

By emerging victorious in the Mavin auction, UMG reinforces its commitment to the vibrant Nigerian Afrobeats landscape, synonymous with global stars like Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy. The burgeoning wave of emerging talents, including Rema, Starr, Tems, Tyla, Ckay, Asake, and Fireboy DML, underscores Africa’s growing impact on the global music scene. Notably, the Recording Academy’s introduction of a Grammy Awards category for Best African Music Performance attests to the genre’s increasing influence, exemplified by Tyla’s acclaimed track “Water.”

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