◎華納音樂集團WMG透過以1.8億美元收購EMP Merchandising這家歐洲專營音樂和娛樂週邊商品的主要電子零售商，來繼續實現其在錄製音樂之外的多元化經營。EMP目前由紐約的私募股權公司Sycamore Partners所有。
◎該交易是近來WMG進行的一系列收購中的最新一筆，其中包括數據驅動的A&R洞察工具Sodatone、年青人的媒體品牌UPROXX、獨立電子音樂公司Spinnin' Records和現場音樂暨票務平台Songkick。EMP將成為WMG旗下的全球藝人和廠牌服務部門WEA之下的直接面對粉絲的獨立公司。EMP的執行長Ernst Trapp和財務長Jan Fischer都將繼續管理該公司。
◎EMP於1986年在德國成立，提供包括Twenty One Pilots、Panic! At The Disco、Metallica、Motörhead、Guns n Roses、Nirvana、Pink Floyd、AC/DC、The Doors等頂級藝人的粉絲週邊商品。EMP也是一個生活風格的電子零售商，提供來自包括迪士尼、漫威、星際大戰和哈利波特等主要娛樂品牌，以及任天堂和PlayStation等遊戲品牌的商品，也有包括NFL在內的運動授權商品和像是Vans等其他時尚品牌的商品。該公司營運著一個服務於18個歐洲國家的網站網絡，擁有數百萬名消費者的社群。
[UPDATED] Warner Music Group continues to diversify beyond recorded music with the $180 million acquisition of EMP Merchandising, a major European specialty music and entertainment merchandise e-tailer. EMP is currently owned by Sycamore Partners, a New York City private equity firm.
The deal follows recent WMG acquisitions including Sodatone, the data driven A&R insight tool; youth media brand UPROXX, Spinnin' Records, an independent electronic music company; and Songkick, the live music and ticketing destination.
EMP will become a stand-alone, direct-to-fan business unit within WEA, WMG's global artist and label services division headed by Tony Harlow. EMP is led by CEO Ernst Trapp and CFO Jan Fischer, who will continue to manage the company.
Founded in Germany in 1986, EMP offers fans merchandise from such top artists as Twenty One Pilots, Panic! At The Disco, Metallica, Motörhead, Guns n Roses, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, The Doors and others.
EMP is also a lifestyle e-tailer, offering merchandise from major entertainment brands including Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and Harry Potter; gaming brands such as Nintendo and PlayStation; sporting franchises including the NFL and alternative fashion brands like Vans. The company operates a network of websites serving 18 European countries, with a community of millions of customers.
"EMP has built a powerful lifestyle destination that will be a perfect complement to our global artist development and marketing strategies," said Stu Bergen, CEO of International & Global Commercial Services, Recorded Music, WMG. "Their music-led expertise will give us great insight into what audiences love and what they want, and at the same time open up exciting new opportunities for our artists. We look forward to bringing Ernst, Jan, and everyone at EMP into WMG's growing family of brands."
"In today's streaming world, merchandise is still one of the best ways that fans can express their passions and personalities," said Max Lousada, CEO of Recorded Music, WMG. "It's also a big part of how music has visible and physical impact on global culture and fashion. Welcoming EMP will be our latest move to expand our relationships with influencers across the globe."
"It's always been our goal to create the most authentic, exclusive products," said Ernst Trapp. "Our team is made up of devoted fans who are curating the music, themes, and lifestyle brands that they know fellow fans will embrace. By joining WMG, we will be able to expand our international reach, explore new genres, reach new audiences, and take fan experience to a whole new level."