The acquisition, which sources stress is not yet finalized, would also give 300 co-founder and CEO Kevin Liles a senior role at Warner.
A source says if WMG does acquire 300, the label would continue to operate as a standalone entity.
This will mark a return to WMG for Liles, who was executive vp at the company from 2004 to 2009. Prior to that, he worked alongside his future 300 co-founder Lyor Cohen (now YouTube’s head of global music) as president of Def Jam Recordings in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Liles left Warner to launch management company KWL Enterprises, and in 2012 founded 300 with Cohen, Todd Moscowitz (now Alamo Records’ CEO) and Roger Gold (Camila Cabello’s manager) with funding from Google and several financial firms. Since then, the company has scored No. 1 singles and/or albums from Fetty Wap (Fetty Wap), Migos (Culture, “Bad & Boujee” featuring Lil Uzi Vert), Thug (So Much Fun, Young Stoner Life: Slime Language 2, Punk, Cabello’s “Havana”) and Megan Thee Stallion (“Savage,” Cardi B’s “WAP”). Liles has served as CEO since 2017, when Cohen left for YouTube.
In 2020, Liles was named Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players executive of the year, and at the time he downplayed the possibility of a sale, but says the company never rules out potential acquisitions, mergers or strategic partnerships. “Two years ago, 300 had a campaign that we’re not for sale, and although we’ve had several companies and investors approach us, we’re interested in building a billion-dollar company and servicing our artists and partners to the best of our ability,” he said. “There is never an opportunity we won’t run down if it’s for the betterment of our artists.”
Warner Music Group — which went public in June 2020 — raised $540 million through a sale of 3.75% senior secured notes offering to help fund three acquisitions worth $710 million, the company announced Nov. 17. It was said at the time the company had signed non-binding letters of intent for the three deals.