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Universal Music Group Acquires Majority Stake In Mavins Records

Universal Music Group (UMG) has acquired a majority stake in Lagos, Nigeria-based music company Mavin Global (Mavin).

UMG describes Mavin as “the driving force behind many of the continent’s Afrobeats artists”.

Founded in 2012 by artist, producer, music executive and entrepreneur, Michael Collins Ajereh (aka Don Jazzy), Mavin has played a prominent role in breaking Afrobeats artists within Africa, and globally.

Monday’s (February 26) news arrives around five years after Mavin secured a multi-million dollar investment (in 2019) from Kupanda Holdings, a joint venture between pan-Africa investment company Kupanda Capital and TPG Growth.

TPG has now fully exited the business, while Kupanda Capital will a remain minority investor and strategic adviser.

According to UMG, Mavin will “maintain autonomy” over its strategy and future talent development. As part of the agreement, founder and CEO Don Jazzy and COO Tega Oghenejobo will continue leading the company.

The deal remains subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of Q3 2024.

Mavin is home to a number of top Afrobeats artists including Ayra Starr, Ladipoe, Johnny Drille, Crayon, Magixx, Bayanni, Boyspyce, DJ Big N, Lifesize Teddy and Rema, whose hit single Calm Down [featuring Selena Gomez] rose to No.3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in a breakthrough for the genre.

The track has gone on to be one of the biggest Afrobeats songs of all time, becoming the first African artist-led track to surpass 1 Billion Spotify streams.

Ayra Starr’s track Rush was nominated for the inaugural Best African Music Performance Grammy and its music video is the most viewed music video by a female Nigerian artist on YouTube.

Universal said on Monday that Mavin’s operations in Nigeria will be amplified through UMG’s global network of labels and businesses by the investment.

Currently distributed internationally [ex-Africa] through Virgin Music Group with Rema, UMG noted that Mavin and its roster are already “well integrated” into UMG’s network, with multiple signings across U.S. labels, including Republic partnering for Ayra Starr, and Interscope for Lifesize Teddy.

UMG also said on Monday that the partnership will accelerate Mavin’s strategic advancement and create more opportunities to break more talent globally, expand the reach of its existing roster and continue building its business into “a super-serving, pan-African entertainment company”.

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