Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries is buying Warner Music Group Corp., the world’s third-largest recording company, for about $1.3 billion.
The companies said that the purchase, for $8.25 a share, will include the assumption of about $1.9 billion in debt.
The deal comes amid a global decline in CD sales that continues to weigh down the industry.
U.S. recorded music sales are half what they were a little over a decade ago. Digital sales gains have started to flatten and CD sales continue to fall. That means the 53-year-old Blavatnik will have to cut further and hope that a new wave of innovation will carry digital music sales higher. The former board member was part of the group that bought the company in 2004 and still owns about 2 percent.