Warner Music Group Acquires Russia’s Gala Records Group
Warner Music Group (WMG) today announced that it has acquired the Gala Records Group (Gala), Russia's leading independent music company.
Led by CEO Alexander Blinov, Gala was founded in 1988 and was the first privately-owned record label in Russia. During its 25 year history, Gala has worked with many of Russia’s most acclaimed artists, including Alla Pugacheva, Irina Allegrova, Nikolai Baskov, Masha Rasputina, Larissa Dolina, Angelika Varum, Igor Sarukhanov, Naik Borzov, Laima Vaikule, Oleg Gazmanov, Igor Nikolaev, as well as groups such as A-Studio, Sektor Gaza, CarMan, Samocvety, Strelki, and many more.
Stephen Cooper, CEO, WMG said, “We are delighted to welcome Gala to the Warner Music family. Russia represents a significant opportunity and, with Gala spearheading our operations there, we will be well positioned for growth in this vibrant and dynamic market. We have great confidence that Alexander and his team will help us fulfill the potential that Russia offers for our artists, our consumers and our business.”
Stu Bergen, President, International, Warner Recorded Music, said, "Gala shares our long-held commitment to discovering and developing the very best in local talent and their success is apparent in their enviable roster and renowned catalogue. The entrepreneurial flair of Gala’s leadership team is evident in their impressive diversification strategy, which allows them to work with artists across multiple areas of their activities to build long-term, successful careers. We look forward to working with Gala in Russia and to tapping into our global network to further amplify the worldwide success of their artists and songwriters.”
Alexander Blinov said, “We are joining one of the most experienced and professional teams in the music industry and one that shares our passion and love for music. WMG’s expertise and involvement is extremely valuable for the developing Russian music market, and will strengthen our efforts to foster its growth. WMG and Gala are driven by the same priorities and goals: we both place huge emphasis on developing great artists. WMG will make an ideal home for Gala’s artists and writers and Russia’s abundant creative talent will have a wider access to the world audience."
Since its foundation, Gala has grown to encompass recorded music, distribution, publishing and live production and now represents some of the biggest artists and composers in Russian music, including MakSim, Dan Balan, Petr Nalitch, Bianka, Ruslan Nigmatullin, Grisha Urgant, Ptaha, Katya Nova, groups like Pompeya, Infiniti, 30.02. Gala’s distribution arm, Music Ltd, the distributor for all Gala’s products, works with a large number of independent international labels including !K7, Harmonia Mundi, Kontor and Fat Cat Records. For almost 20 years Gala has represented EMI’s international catalogue in Russia and the CIS.
Among Gala’s other divisions are leading dance label Kontora Ltd and music publishing divisions S.B.A. Music Publishing Ltd and United Musical Publishing House LLC.
The acquisition will mark WMG’s first wholly-owned local presence in Russia.