April 19, 2024
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Universal Music Group (UMG) has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Mavin Global (Mavin), a distinguished music company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. 

Mavin Records label was founded in 2012 by Michael Collins Ajereh, popularly as Don Jazzy, Mavin has played a pivotal role in propelling Afrobeats artists to prominence, both within Africa and on the global stage. 

This strategic move by UMG comes about five years after Mavin secured a substantial multi-million dollar investment in 2019 from Kupanda Holdings, a joint venture between pan-African investment company Kupanda Capital and TPG Growth. With this latest development, TPG has divested entirely from the business, while Kupanda Capital will maintain a minority investment and continue as a strategic adviser. 

UMG reiterates that Mavin will retain autonomy in steering its strategic vision and talent development. Don Jazzy, the founder and CEO, along with COO Tega Oghenejobo, will continue to lead the company under the terms of the agreement. 

 The deal’s completion depends on regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized by the end of Q3 2024. 

Don Jazzy said, “I’m proud of the artists, careers, and brands we’ve built that have made Mavin the force it is today. In this historic partnership with UMG, we will continue that mission in Africa and across the globe.”

Tega Oghenejobo added,” With our proven history of collaborations within the UMG family, we have a strong belief that they are the ideal partner for the next phase of our growth, given the diversity and potential of our business.

“UMG is home to some of the world’s foremost music entrepreneurs and artists, making them a perfect match for our aspirations. By collaborating with UMG, we are dedicated to cultivating a vibrant creative environment that propels African music to new heights on the global stage.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group, also stated: “Our criteria for identifying partners is straightforward: great artists, great entrepreneurs, great people. With Don Jazzy, Tega, the Mavin Global team, and their artist roster, we’ve found ideal partners with whom to grow together. 

“Mavin’s brilliant artists have been catalysts in the transformation of Afrobeats into a global phenomenon and we’re thrilled to welcome them into the Universal Music Group family.”

Mavin, a music powerhouse, hosts a lineup of stellar Afrobeats artists such as Ayra Starr, Ladipoe, Johnny Drille, Crayon, Magixx, Bayanni, Boyspyce, DJ Big N, Lifesize Teddy, and Rema.

Their chart-topping single, “Calm Down,” featuring Selena Gomez, reached an impressive No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, marking a breakthrough for the Afrobeats genre. 

 This track has become one of the most significant Afrobeats songs ever, achieving the remarkable feat of being the first African artist-led track to surpass 1 billion streams on Spotify.

Ayra Starr, another gem from Mavin, earned a Grammy nomination for Best African Music Performance for her track “Rush.”  

Notably, its music video holds the record as the most-viewed video by a female Nigerian artist on YouTube. Mavin continues to make waves in the global music scene, solidifying its position as a driving force behind the success of Afrobeats artists. 

UMG’s partnership with Mavin aims to accelerate the strategic growth of the Nigerian music company, providing more opportunities to showcase talent globally and expand its existing roster.   

As part of their mission, UMG highlighted two key initiatives: Mavin’s Artist Academy, focused on training new talents in music and performance skills while fostering connections within the roster, and an executive leadership program aiming to groom the next generation of music industry professionals in Africa. 

 The timing of this partnership aligns with the booming music industry in Africa, as highlighted by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

In 2022, Africa experienced the highest growth rate in recorded music consumption, with Sub-Saharan Africa leading at an impressive 34.7% year-over-year growth, surpassing any other region globally. 
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