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Music powerhouse EMI sells for $4.1 billion

Sat., Nov. 12, 2011

LOS ANGELES – EMI Group Ltd., the iconic British music company that is home to The Beatles, Coldplay and Katy Perry, is being split and sold for $4.1 billion.

The deals will open EMI’s buyers, Universal Music and Sony/ATV, to regulatory scrutiny as they increase their dominance of the music industry.

Universal Music Group said Friday that it will pay $1.9 billion for the recording division, joining Universal artists including Lady Gaga and Eminem with EMI superstars such as David Guetta and Lady Antebellum.

A consortium led by Sony/ATV announced a separate deal Friday to pay $2.2 billion for EMI’s publishing division.

Sony/ATV, a joint venture between Sony Corp. and the Michael Jackson estate, is a 38 percent partner in the consortium, according to a person familiar with the situation. Other parties include Mubadala Development Co., Jynwel Capital Ltd., the Blackstone Group and David Geffen.

The two-part sale, if approved by regulators, would further increase Universal Music’s dominance in recorded music and springboard Sony/ATV into the top spot as a music publisher, according to Impala, an association of European independent music companies that is against the deal.

Both deals are expected to be carefully reviewed in Europe, the U.S., Japan and Australia. Even if regulators approve, they could force the sale of key assets or attach other terms.


 

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