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“Destructive consequences”: Warner’s takeover of the Believe label worries independent producers

A takeover of the French label Believe by the American giant Warner Music Group (WMG) would have “destructive consequences” on employment and creation, warned the union of independent producers and distributors UPFI on Friday.

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“Destructive consequences”: Warner’s takeover of the Believe label worries independent producers

A takeover of the French label Believe by the American giant Warner Music Group (WMG) would have “destructive consequences” on employment and creation, warned the union of independent producers and distributors UPFI on Friday. Believe collaborates in particular with the singer Vianney, the phenomenon Yamê and the rock group Shaka Ponk. Rapper Jul would also be under contract with the label until 2035.

Also read “The numbers are huge and never go down”: the magic recipe of Jul, French rap cash machine

The success of the label caught the eye of the American giant. At the beginning of March, WMG had expressed its interest in this company specializing in supporting independent artists and labels, listed on the stock market in mid-2021 and already coveted by a consortium founded by the boss of Believe himself, Denis Ladegaillerie .

On Monday, Believe's board of directors invited the major to submit a formal offer by April 7. In a press release on Friday March 29, the Union of Independent French Phonographic Producers (UPFI) said it wanted to “alert the public authorities” about “a hostile operation” which would, according to it, have “destructive consequences”.

“Believe must remain independent” and “embodies a model of success and resistance to the worrying phenomenon of consolidation at work in (the) sector”, writes the union, estimating that this “rare French unicorn” also represents an “important voice of French soft power in the cultural field.

The UPFI also highlights concerns for employment by estimating that the plan to lay off 600 people announced in February by Warner Music – or 10% of its workforce – could “reasonably give rise to fears of further cuts in the workforce”. At the beginning of March, Warner indicated that it could value Believe “at a price of at least 17 euros per share”.

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