Warner Bros. Discovery Eyes $1 Billion Music Library Sale to Offset Debt (Report)

Warner Bros. Discovery is considering a sale of its music library, which could generate more than $1 billion in revenue and help the company pay off some of its $50.4 billion debt, the Financial Times reported. We are reporting.

The library has its roots in the music department of Warner Bros. Film Studios, created in the 1950s. Its predecessor company, Time His Warner, sold its music division in 2004. A separate company, the mighty Warner Music Group, went public in 2020.

However, although the music recording business has been sold, Warner Bros. Discovery still owns the copyrights to its vast collection of soundtracks and other music. The FT cited sources who said the treasure could be worth more than his $1 billion.

After WarnerMedia and Discovery merged in April to form a company that includes HBO, Warner Bros. Studios, CNN and a host of other channels and streaming, film industry CEO David Zaslav said he wanted to reinvent the business. I am planning to sell it to build. app.

Zaslav said in the days following the merger, the company will need to cut $3 billion from its budget. That total he increased to $3.5 billion when he reported his third-quarter financial results in October. That puts him $50.4 billion in debt at the end of the quarter after the company paid off about $2.5 billion.

Some of the cost savings include the layoff of hundreds of employees, production cuts on multiple projects including the removal of the infamous “Batgirl” to elevate the DC brand, the end of CNN+ streaming efforts, and JJ Abram’s HBO. Brought about by the cancellation of the series “Demimond”.

Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels said last week that restructuring in 2022 will make the company healthier going forward. “We cut a lot of excesses last year,” he said at an investor conference hosted by Citi.

“There has been a lot of public hype about some of the content write-offs that we have taken, which reflects that the industry has gone too far and gone into a frenzy,” said Wiedenfels. .

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“We’re consistently looking at how we run our business… what makes sense? What doesn’t make sense?” he added.

Ironically, one of the more valuable rights in Warner Bros. Discovery’s music library is the Batman soundtrack.

The sale process is in its early stages, the FT said, adding that any agreement would retain provisions regarding access to and use of specific soundtracks, said a person close to the situation.

Catalog sales will follow the trend of selling music rights seen across the industry in recent years, from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young to Joey Ramone.

The surge in catalog sales to the world of corporations and private equity reflects the potential for future income from these songs, which could become even more valuable riding on future hits and other uses.

Warner Bros. Discovery stock has risen more than a third this year after taking a hit in 2022 when it lost more than half of its stock. Investors believe the worst is over in terms of losses and restructuring costs. “At this point, most of the heavy lifting (related to restructuring costs, etc.) is done,” Bank of America analyst Jessica Ehrlich said.

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