Artists & repertoire investment is core of Vale Music deal

London/Barcelona, June 22, 2006 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s largest music company, has reached agreement to acquire Vale Music, Spain’s leading independent.

This strategic acquisition will bolster UMG’s strength in the worldwide $1.8 billion market for Spanish-language repertoire, and increase its investment in local artists with potential for success at home and abroad. It follows the recent realignment of the company’s Latin American regional management.

UMG is acquiring Vale Music from its founder, Ricardo Campoy, who during the past nine years has grown the Barcelona-based business into Spain’s No. 1 independent music company. Its roster of top recording artists includes David Bisbal, Bustamente, Rosa and Chenoa. Bustamente’s latest release, Pentimiento, enters the Spanish album charts at No. 1 this week, and Rosa’s album, Me Siento Viva, is at No. 3.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. It is subject to approval by the Spanish competition authorities.

Pascal Negre, President, Mediterranean, South America & Middle East Regions at Universal Music Group International, said, “Vale Music is an amazing success story, in the great tradition of the music industry’s pioneering labels. It has also enhanced Spain’s reputation as one of Europe’s most creative music markets, whose musicians and artists reach well beyond national boundaries in popularity and influence. I’m confident that this new partnership promises much for both companies in future.”

Jesús López, Chairman, Universal Music Latin America & Iberian Peninsula, commented, “Over the last decade, Ricardo has created a powerful management team at Vale Music, and successfully developed a diverse artist roster. We have worked together for more than 20 years, and it’s really exciting that now he’s joining the Universal Music family. I know Ricardo will continue the creative process that has made Vale Music a Spanish powerhouse, with enormous sales potential in Latin America and the rest of the world.” Ricardo Campoy said, “If I had to define the uniqueness of Vale Music, it would be the passion of our ideas. That’s why the company is a dynamic, creative force in talent and music in Spain. Passion is what makes us believe, and what equips us for future challenges. Now, in partnership with Universal Music, we are ready to truly propel Vale Music and our artists into the international marketplace.”

Under Campoy’s leadership, Vale Music initially specialised in dance music and branded compilation albums such as Caribe and Disco Estrella, but its greatest success came with artists associated with Operación Triunfo, Spain’s reality-TV music show, a ratings blockbuster for the past six years.

Vale Music’s Operación Triunfo releases have generated worldwide sales of 10 million solo-artist albums, and 4 million compilation albums. Two albums by the show’s superstar, David Bisbal, have collectively sold more than 4 million copies. His 2003 debut, Corazon Latino, entered the Spanish album charts at No. 1 and sold 1.5 million copies domestically. Bisbal is already associated with Universal Music, which has released his recordings outside Spain for the past three years.

On completion of the acquisition by Universal Music Group, Vale Music will continue to operate as a separate company from its headquarters in Barcelona. Ricardo Campoy and his senior executives have entered into long-term agreements to continue managing its day-to-day operations.