Biz news: Universal bites off half of Harmonia Mundi

Biz news: Universal bites off half of Harmonia Mundi


norman lebrecht

November 30, 2022

The independent record group PIAS has sold a 49 percent stake to the market leaders, Universal Music.

PIAS owns Harmonia Mundi, along with other classical boutique labels.

Eighteen months ago, Universal refinanced PIAS which was suffering Covid blight. Now it has turned that debt into an asset.

What will become of HM?

Universal boss Sir Lucian Grainge said: ‘The boldly independent and music-centric culture that Kenny and Michel have built over the last four decades has provided a vital creative network to so many artists. While much of the past was focused on ‘majors versus indies’, it’s clear that today, the important divide in our industry is about those committed to artist development versus those committed to quantity over quality. We share Kenny and Michel’s passion for developing artists and moving culture, and we recognise that a healthy music ecosystem needs companies like [PIAS] who are committed to amplifying the best voices in independent music.’



  • David K. Nelson says:

    When I was a neophyte record reviewer, I remember my editor telling me “You’re going to get extra excited when you open the next package of discs. It has Harmonia Mundi France releases for you to review.”