Sub Pop turned down buy-out offer from Microsoft, reveals former label associate

The corporation offered $4 million for the label in 1994 in an attempt to "be a bit more hip"

Dana Giacchetto, former label associate of Sub Pop records – the Seattle-based label most famous for launching Nirvana – has revealed that Microsoft attempted to buy the label in 1994.

Speaking about the deal, which saw bidders including Geffen Records, Sony Music and eventual victors Warners all put in bids for the company at the height of the grunge movement, Giacchetto has described how Bill Gates and his firm’s $4 million bid was a “paltry” sum and how they did it to make Microsoft seem “a bit more hip”.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, the former associate, who has also claimed that he was a key inspiration on Leonardo Di Caprio’s character in recent film The Wolf of Wall Street, describes how Warners’ acquisition came about: “I can now reveal that Universal was the top bidder, $25 million,” he says, “but it wasn’t the right creative fit. Sony Music bid $5 million. David Geffen bid $8 million – I told him his bid was way too fucking low – and Microsoft bid a paltry $4 million, frankly insulting.”

He continues: “Bill Gates, who at the time considered himself to be ‘the future of entertainment’, couldn’t have been a more dull character. It definitely would have made Microsoft a bit more hip, which in hindsight might have actually made Microsoft a player in entertainment. They’re still not.”

Sub Pop was founded in 1986 by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman in Seattle. The label are most renown for their work at the forefront of grunge and represented the likes of Nirvana and Mudhoney. They have since continued to work with a series of leftfield artists including the likes of The Shins, The Postal Service and Shabazz Palaces.

Nirvana were also recently inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame on the 25th anniversary year of debut album ‘Bleach’ – the first opportunity the group could be inducted, according to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame’s rules.

Surviving members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic were joined in a performance at the ceremony by Joan Jett, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, St. Vincent’s Annie Clark and Lorde and then proceeded to play a tiny club gig at tiny Brooklyn club venue St Vitus later on that night.