Warner Music Group acquires merch company EMP for $180m
Warner Music Group is about to acquire one of Europe’s biggest music merch companies - EMP Merchandising Handelsgesellschaft mbH (EMP) - for $180m.
According to Music Business Worldwide, Warner has agreed to pay a cash consideration of approximately €155m ($180m) for EMP, which may be adjusted based on the net debt and working capital of the firm. The buyout is yet to be approved by the German regulatory authorities, but is expected to close in October.
Once the deal is finalized, EMP will become a standalone, direct-to-fan business unit within WEA, WMG’s global artist and label services division headed by President Tony Harlow.
Founded in Germany in 1986, EMP today offers fans merchandise from acts such as Twenty One Pilots, Panic! At The Disco, Metallica, Motörhead, Guns n Roses, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, The Doors, and many others. Beyond music, the company has established itself as an online e-tailer, selling merch from major entertainment brands such as Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and Harry Potter; gaming brands such as Nintendo and PlayStation; sporting franchises such as the NFL; and alternative fashion brands such as Vans.
The company operates a network of websites serving 18 European countries, with a community of millions of customers.