Apple’s decision to buy music production hardware manufacturer WP Music for $3.4 billion could make it the first company to acquire a major music production equipment manufacturer.
WP Music, a subsidiary of WP Music Media Group, which also includes WNME, SiriusXM, VH1, and Soundcloud, is a leading provider of equipment and software to producers, musicians, and the music industry.
The deal was announced Tuesday, just days before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, who has promised to revive the recording industry, and could signal a major shift in how technology companies are viewed by the music world.
The acquisition is the latest in a series of investments in the music business that have already brought Apple to the forefront of the music production space.
The company announced the acquisition in January.
“The future of music is here,” CEO Steve Jobs told investors during a companywide investor call.
“And we’re going to bring it to everyone.”
WP Music is known for its high-end gear, including studio monitors, turntables, and digital mixers, as well as its professional-grade production software.
WP is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and had revenue of $1.5 billion in 2015, according to its annual report.
Its revenue is projected to reach $2.6 billion in 2020.
The WP Music purchase, which is expected to close in 2019, would give the company a significant presence in the business, as the company is one of the world’s largest recording companies, according a company official.
The firm has been working with WP Music on several products, including the WP Studio, WP Soundtrack and WP Pro Tools.
The new acquisition also would create a major presence in its own music distribution business, which WP Music has traditionally dominated.
The $3 billion purchase price includes a payment of $2 billion in cash and a $250 million option to purchase WP Music’s existing assets.
The purchase price is contingent on WP Music achieving financial performance goals in 2020, according an announcement from the company.
“This acquisition is a major milestone for WP Music as we begin to reimagine our music business in new ways,” said WP Music CEO Paul Biederman.
“It will enable us to focus on creating an exciting and dynamic music experience for our audience, and to grow our business in ways that are more efficient and profitable.”
The company will retain WP Music employees, as it does with other WP Music products.
The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and approval of the transaction by WP Music shareholders, which include the WP Music Group, WP Music Chairman Michael D. Oreskes, and other WP executives, including former President-Elect Joe Biden, as per the terms of the acquisition.