In the latest chapter of the EMI story and to the surprise of exactly no one, the publishing division of the British music giant has been sold to an investor group led by Sony in America for a reported £1.4 bn, with David Geffen and Michael Jackson improbably getting in on the deal. In addition, regulators in Brussels have now reportedly told Universal that they will need to get over a number of hurdles for their purchase of EMI’s recorded division to gain clearance due to fears about market dominance and price hikes to digital downloads, with the European Commission’s (EC) concerns outlined in a 194-page document.
Seriously, the amount of stories that we’ve posted about the trials and tribulations of EMI would probably amount to a book longer than that by now, one that is often gripping and occasionally tedious- The Don Quixote of the music industry, with Guy Hands battling windmills from his donkey?
As previously reported, the EC approved the sale at the end of April this year.
Alongside Sony, the consortium also includes the estate of Michael Jackson (due to his Sony/ATV joint venture), PJSC, Jynwel Capital Limited, GSO Capital Partners LP and David Geffen.
Stephen Volk, chairman of the Board of EMI Group Global Limited and vice chairman of Citigroup said: “We are proud to have been a steward of EMI Music Publishing and its great collection of assets. We are grateful to Roger Faxon, his management team and all of EMI’s staff for the continued success of this business during Citi’s ownership.”
Although it is unclear what the immediate plans for the catalogue are, Sony et al are now free to exploit a publishing catalogue that includes huge pop writers such as Jay Z and Rihanna (pictured).
Various trade organisations including AIM have protested against the break-up of EMI. To catch up on all of the developments leading up to the sale of the recorded division of EMI, which is now in doubt, go here.