Universal Buys Univision Music
Universal Music Group has purchased Univision Music Group, which includes Univision’s music recording and publishing division. The buyout gives Universal a commanding lead in the Latin marketplace in North America, but is subject to regulatory approval.
Univision Music Group is the largest Latin label in the US and includes Univision Records, Fonovisa Records, Disa Records and La Calle with close to a 40% marketshare according to Nielsen Soundscan’s year-end numbers for 2007. In turn, Universal’s Latin labels, Universal Music Latino and Machete, have a combined 14% marketshare. Their combined numbers will have Universal controlling half of the Latin music landscape in the United States. Univision’s holdings also include Univision Music Mexico and Univision Music Publishing.
As part of the acquisition, UMG will continue Univision Music’s longstanding agreement with the Univision TV networks, which will allow UMG to promote its artists on the Univision, Telefutura and Galavision networks.
Univision Music Group was founded in 2001 by JosÃ© Behar, the former head of EMI Latin. Behar started the label from scratch and turned it into the leading U.S. Latin label following its acquisition of indie Fonovisa. Today, Univision’s roster includes top selling acts such as Marco Antonio Solis, Los Tigres del Norte and Los Temerarios. Although a large bulk of the music group’s catalog falls under regional Mexican music, Behar made a concerted effort to diversify his roster, recently bringing in artists like Ivy Queen and Olga TaÃ±Ã³n and developing names like Xtreme and Jennifer Pena.