Linkin Park protests Warner Music's upcoming IPO

| About: Warner Music (WMG)

Linkin Park, the rock/rap group that is one of Warner Music's most successful acts, is publicly protesting the company's upcoming IPO.  The band is 'offended and discouraged' that only $7 million of the $650 million raised will go to WMG and wants out of its contract.  Other Warner Music acts, including Metallica and Kid Rock, have also been critical of the company in recent months.  Here is a copy of Linkin Park's comments and WMG's response:

Here is Linkin Park's criticism of Warner Music:

The new owners of the Warner Music Group will be reaping a windfall
of $1.4 billion from their $2.6 billion purchase a mere 18 months ago
if their planned IPO moves forward. Linkin Park, their biggest act,
will get nothing.

Meanwhile, of the planned $750 million
raised by an IPO, only about $7 million will be put toward the
company's own operations, with no money going to WMG artists.
Additionally, WMG has already seen a widespread reduction of its work
force and substantial cuts in marketing and promotion expenditures.
Linkin Park has become increasingly concerned that WMG's diminished
resources will leave it unable to compete in today's global music
marketplace, resulting in a failure to live up to WMG's fiduciary
responsibility to market and promote Linkin Park.

Linkin Park
has been responsible for approximately 10% of the entire Warner Music
Group's record sales, selling over 35 million records worldwide in just
5 years. After reading numerous and daily articles about how WMG
executives and corporate raiders have ridden the coattails of the
creative community to extract massive rewards, Linkin Park has become
increasingly offended and discouraged.

We couldn't be more
grateful for the support we receive from all our fans around the world.
We feel a responsibility to get great music to our fans. Unfortunately,
we believe that we can't accomplish that effectively with the current
Warner Music.

Here is Warner Music's reponse:

...the band's management is using fictitious numbers and making
baseless charges and inflammatory threats in what is clearly a
negotiating tactic...[Warner Music] has made
significant investments in Linkin Park, and they have always been
compensated generously for their outstanding worldwide success.