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Motley Crew Sony & Universal Takeover EMI

Motley Crew Sony & Universal Takeover EMI

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An investor group comprised of Sony (as a minority partner) in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson and David Geffen will acquire EMI Music Publishing from current owners Citigroup, for $2.2 billion, it announced Friday.

Other parties to the group include Mubadala Development Company PJSC, Jynwel Capital, Blackstone Group’s GSO and Capital Partners LP.

Following the acquisition, Sony/ATV Music, co-owned by subsidiaries of SCA and trusts formed by the Estate of Michael Jackson, will manage EMI Music Publishing on behalf of the group

EMI’s current  owners, Citigroup, sold its recording music arm to Universal Music Group (owned by Vivendi) for $1.9bn, it was also confirmed.

The total EMI sale, worth US$4.1bn, exceeded many industry watchers expectations and now sees the British record label broken up into separate recording and publishing divisions.

The deal, if approved, also puts Universal in particular in a strong position, who would account for 38% of all recorded music sales globally.

According to the Wall Street Journal, neither Sony nor Universal were tipped to be the winning bidders for EMI , which went up for sale earlier this year.

However, the transaction(s) are subject to conditions, including regulatory approvals, with Univeral’s owners Vivendi taking on the regulatory risk in the deal, meaning if their $2.2bn proposed transaction fails to be approved, the giant will have to offload its purchase to another buyer.

EMI Music Publishing is a world-leading popular music publisher including Beyoncé, Drake, Jay-Z, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, P!nk, Scissor Sisters, Rihanna, Stargate and Usher.

They also hold a vast collection of lucrative publishing rights to some of the greatest Motown hits from the 1960s including Baby Love, Heard It Through The Grapevine, as well Rhapsody, Every Breath You Take and You’ve Got A Friend.

“The business represents and administers one of the world’s most comprehensive and diverse catalogs of over 1.3 million music copyrights covering all genres, periods and territories of the world,” the Sony consortium said in a statement.

“EMI Music Publishing is an iconic company with legendary copyrights and world-class executive talent”,  Rob Wiesenthal, Chief Financial Officer, Sony Corp America, said.

“Access to entertainment content is an important part of a great consumer electronics experience, and the impressive growth of digital music services will help us bring our songwriters’ music to an increasingly wide audience.”

“EMI Music Publishing has some of the best songs and artists in the world. I am excited to be reunited with the incredible songs, writers and people of a company I helped build,” Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, added:

“The opportunity represented by this transaction is both transformative for Sony/ATV and a truly special moment for me, personally.”