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Universal Completes EMI Divestments, Sells Last Two Assets

Universal Completes EMI Divestments, Sells Last Two Assets

Universal Music Group has sold off its last two remaining EMI assets it was required to divest of as part of its acquisition of EMI’s recorded-music properties, a source close to the situation told today.

The assets are EMI’s European rights to the Now That’s What I Call Music! compilation series, which were sold to Sony Music for just under 40 million pounds (about $60.6 million); and the Co-Op indie marketing company in Europe, which was sold to PIAS Recordings for under half a million pounds, the source said. The sale brings the total of the divestment package to just under 600 million pounds ($909.7 million); it was originally estimated at around 400 million pounds ($606.4 million).

Earlier this month, Warner Music acquired the Parlophone Label Group, the largest part of the divestment package, for 487 million pounds ($738 million). The deal will give the Warner Music Group, the smallest of the three major label groups, another $400 million in annual revenue, another 1.5%-2% in U.S. market share and catalogs of such artist as Coldplay, Radiohead, Kate Bush, David Guetta, Daft Punk, Sinead O’Connor, Tina Turner, Tinie Tempah and Jethro Tull, among many others. The Parlophone Group includes Chrysalis and Ensign Labels as well as EMI’s recorded music operations in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Sweden — which will bring a significant boost to Warner’s international operations.

Also as part of the divestment package, BMG Rights Management acquired the Sanctuary label as well as the Mute Records catalog.


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