The takeover, which is billed at PLN 8 million and which went ahead in January this year, will see Warner acquire some 36,000 Polskie Nagrania recordings made since the label’s inception in the 1950s.
In a statement released on Thursday, Warner Music Poland declared that it intends to keep the label branding, which features a cockerel and will continue to add recordings to the label’s catalogue.
Warner Music Poland is also set to digitalise the entire archive, after which it will hand over the master tapes in the National Digital Archive where they will be stored as artefacts of national heritage.
The sale of Polskie Nagrania was slated after the record label announced bankruptcy in March 2010. In April 2013, the courts placed the company into receivership.
The label’s catalogue includes recordings by major Polish artists such as Czesław Niemen, Marek Grechuta, Irena Santor, Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki and Wojciech Kilar.
“This transaction is a significant step in the development of our activity,” said CEO and Director General of Warner Music Poland Piotr Kabaj.
“It is a great honour for us that we should represent such noteworthy artists and take care of such an impressive catalogue,” he added, going on to say that “we intend to do everything so that the historic label of Polskie Nagrania will live on and that these legendary recordings will gain new fans in Poland and abroad”.
Ahead of the sale, however, protests in Warsaw and Poznań raised voices against the sale of Polskie Nagrania.
Around 100 artists and representatives of the arts handed over a petition to the Culture Ministry as well as the Treasury Ministry and Parliamentary Speaker demanding public disclosure on the label’s bankruptcy and the “future fate” of the company.
The acquisition of Polskie Nagrania by Warner Music Poland “is one of a few similar endeavours undertaken recently by Warner Music Group in emerging markets,” the statement reads, citing the takeover of the Parlophone Music Group in July 2013, which made Warner Music Group the owner of EMI subsidiaries in key markets in the CEE region, including Poland. (jb)