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Universal Music buys Univision's music unit

Universal Music Group said on Thursday it reached a deal to buy Spanish-language Univision Music Group for an undisclosed sum, including its recording and publishing operations. The Univision Music Group includes Univision Records, Fonovisa Records and Disa Records, with Marco Antonio Solis, Los Tigres del Norte and Gloria Trevi on its artist roster.

Universal — the world’s largest music company, which is owned by France’s Vivendi — said it would phase out use of the Univision name but retain the brands Fonovisa and Disa.

Universal had already been Univision Music’s distributor in the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico. It will maintain ties with parent Univision Communications, the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States, to help promote Latin artists on Univision’s television networks.

Univision decided to put the music unit up for sale nearly one year ago. It has been trimming debt following a $12.3 billion buyout by private investors.

Latin music is one of the healthier genres in a music market struggling with declining CD sales and a move to digital downloads off the Internet.