The German subsidiary of the world’s largest music company will move to Berlin on July 1, 2002

Hamburg, 20/04/2001 – Universal Music, a division of the world’s largest music company, the Universal Music Group, will relocate its German headquarters from Hamburg to Berlin with effect from July 1, 2002. The news was announced today in Hamburg by Tim Renner, the company’s President & CEO, who explained that the company’s Hamburg management, its London European headquarters and its Paris-based parent company Vivendi Universal, to which Universal has belonged since last year, had come to a unanimous decision on the move after long and intensive discussion.

One of the pivotal arguments for relocating to Berlin is the role of the German capital as a new creative centre in the country. Already, numerous media and entertainment companies are based there and an increasing number of artists are drawn to Germany’s capital city. “There is a vibrant atmosphere of change in Berlin,” Tim Renner explains. “The scene is more exciting than ever before. Berlin is Germany’s musical epicentre – as a creative company we just have to be where the music is.” Victor Antippas, Executive Vice President & COO, President Austria & Switzerland, adds: “This is not a decision against Hamburg, but for Berlin. For many years, Hamburg had the status of a media centre. We have always felt very much at home here and we want expressly to say thank you to the City of Hamburg and its citizens for their support. But of course we are also looking forward to our move and the energy it is bound to generate.”

In addition to creative considerations, one of the main reasons for the decision was undoubtedly the strategic question of location. In the near future, Berlin will establish itself as a pivotal location within the European powerhouse, forming a new international cultural link with London and Paris.

The move comes at a rational point in time for Universal Music as regards finance: the rental agreements on the offices in and around Hamburg’s Glockengiesserwall run out next year. The move is actively supported by the City of Berlin. The time is right to bring together all the various parts of the company in the city which is going to be Germany’s cultural and media mecca, a centre which attracts many people and where Universal Music can recruit both artists and staff. “The other Universal Music European subsidiaries are nearly all located in their countries’ capitals,” explains Jorgen Larsen, Chairman & CEO Universal Music International. “So it is merely consistent for our important German subsidiary to be located in Berlin. We have enjoyed great success in Hamburg, but the planned move to Berlin will have a positive effect on the whole company. I am convinced that Universal Music and all its staff will benefit from the exciting, creative atmosphere in Berlin.”