Saturday, 12 November 2011
EMI sold to UMG and Sony
EMI Group, the UK based music company, has been split in two and sold for $4.1 billion to Universal Music Group and Sony Corp. The absorption of the music major leaves just three major record companies in control of 70% of the declining recorded music sector. Universal will acquire EMI's recorded music division from EMI parent company Citigroup Inc. for $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion) and Sony will acquire the smaller but more lucrative music publishing business for $2.2 billion (£1.4 billion). Competition (antitrust) regulators in the U.S. and Europe are expected to review the transaction for possible anti-competitive issues. Indie labels group IMPALA had already warned European regulators that they would be unhappy with any sale to wither Universal or Sony. Globally, recorded music sales have sunk from $29.4 billion in 2005 to $18.4 billion last year from according to a report from research firm Enders Analysis.
The sale brings to a close EMI's 114-year run. The independent music company was founded in 1895 by Emile Berliner. Announcing the deal, UMG Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge said: "This is an historic acquisition for UMG and an important step in preserving the legacy of EMI Music. For me, as an Englishman, EMI was the pre-eminent music company that I grew up with. Its artists and their music provided the soundtrack to my teenage years. Therefore, UMG is committed to both preserving EMI's cultural heritage and artistic diversity and also investing in its artists and people to grow the company's assets for the future. As a result, we will be better positioned to fully capitalise on the many new and exciting opportunities in the current marketplace, and also able to better serve our artists, songwriters and business partners, while offering fans even more choice".