300, an Independent Entertainment Company, Co-Founded by Lyor Cohen, Kevin Liles, and Roger Gold, Sells to Warner Music Group
Kevin Liles appointed Chairman & CEO of a group of iconic independent label brands across 300 and Elektra
300 roster includes top-charting artists Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug, Gunna, Highly Suspect, the newly signed ‘Queen of Hip-Hop Soul’ Mary J. Blige & many others
Deal further benefits 300’s artists and label partners by expanding its global footprint
NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Warner Music Group (WMG) today announced the acquisition of 300 Entertainment, one of the world’s most successful and influential independent music companies. 300’s artists include top-charting, multi-platinum stars such as 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 many 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.
At the same time, 300 Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Liles will be appointed Chairman & CEO across 300 and Elektra Music Group. 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. 300 will retain its independent identity, and the entirety of its team will continue to occupy separate headquarters in New York.
One of the most respected leaders in the music industry, with three decades of wide-ranging experience, Liles was named Billboard ’s R&B/Hip-Hop Executive of the Year in 2020. His roles have included President of Def Jam Recordings, Executive Vice President of the Island Def Jam Music Group, EVP of Warner Music Group, and Founder/CEO of KWL Enterprises. Liles began his music career as an artist in the Baltimore-based DJ crew, Numarx.
Max Lousada, CEO, Warner Recorded Music, 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.”
Kevin Liles, 300 Co-Founder & CEO, 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.”
Lyor Cohen, 300 Co-Founder, said, “Wonderful to see a good idea realized. 300 is a way of life and is in very good hands.”
Julie Greenwald, Chairman & COO, Atlantic Records, 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.”
Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel, Co-Presidents, Elektra Music Group, 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.
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About 300 Entertainment
Since launching in 2012, 300 Entertainment has proudly remained, “A New Independent.” Independently funded, owned, and operated, the company groomed, grew, and galvanized a new generation of superstars across hip-hop, rock, pop, electronic, and alternative. By 2021, 300 Entertainment has been named the #1 Independent Label according to BuzzAngle. 300’s development-focused and digital-centric disruption has quietly elevated the brand to the cutting-edge of both music and culture. Among many achievements, roster acts have garnered a total of four GRAMMY® Awards, 13 GRAMMY® Award nominations, a Shorty Award, nearly 200 RIAA gold, platinum, multi-platinum, and diamond-certified singles, and NAACP Award, American Music Award, and BET Award nominations and wins. Led by CEO and Co-Founder Kevin Liles, the label has positioned itself at the forefront of streaming. Its revenue is comprised of 95% streaming and the label has garnered over 50 billion cumulative streams to date. The company has also been named one of Inc. Magazine ’s Best Workplaces, as well as been included on Fast Company ’s Brands That Matter list and Fast Company ’s Best Workplaces for Innovators list (Small Company category). 300 has also consistently championed social justice and social responsibility. Over the past year, the company implemented the 300 Entertainment Social Justice League, several large-scale donations, and a forthcoming 501(c)(3) for the company that seeks restorative justice for families of police killings. 300 Entertainment’s talent includes Mary J. Blige, Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug, Gunna, Lil Keed, Tee Grizzley, Famous Dex, Highly Suspect, Fetty Wap, Drax Project, YNW Melly, Bailey Bryan, and more. 300 Entertainment has launched ventures and partnerships such as Young Thug’s YSL, Shy Glizzy’s Glizzy Gang, and RGF Island.
About Warner Music Group
With a legacy extending back over 200 years, Warner Music Group (WMG) today brings together artists, songwriters, and entrepreneurs that are moving entertainment culture across the globe. Operating in more than 70 countries through a network of affiliates and licensees, WMG’s Recorded Music division includes renowned labels such as Asylum, Atlantic, Big Beat, Canvasback, Elektra, Erato, First Night, Fueled by Ramen, Nonesuch, Parlophone, Reprise, Rhino, Roadrunner, Sire, Spinnin’, Warner Records, Warner Classics, and Warner Music Nashville. WMG’s music publishing arm, Warner Chappell Music, has a catalog of over one million copyrights spanning every musical genre, from the standards of the Great American Songbook to the biggest hits of the 21st century. Warner Music Group is also home to ADA, the independent artist and label services company – as well as next gen artist services division WMX, which includes consumer brands such as Songkick, the live music app; EMP, the merchandise e-tailer; UPROXX, the youth culture destination; and HipHopDX, the hip-hop music news site. In addition, WMG counts storytelling powerhouse Warner Music Entertainment and social media content creator IMGN among its many brands.