Sony/ATV-led group swoops for EMI Music Publishing for $2.2bn

An investor group led by Sony Corp (and Sony/ATV) has acquired EMI Music Publishing from Citigroup, Inc. for a total sum of $2.2 billion.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. Following the acquisition, Sony/ATV will help oversee EMI Music Publishing on behalf of the Group. Sony/ATV Music Publishing is co-owned by subsidiaries of Sony Corporation of America and trusts formed by the Estate of Michael Jackson.

EMI Music Publishing represents and administers over 1.3 million music copyrights including works from some of the most successful writers in the world including Beyoncé, Drake, Jay-Z, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, P!nk, Scissor Sisters, Rihanna, Stargate, Usher, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Tinie Tempah, Duffy and Arcade Fire.

EMI Music Publishing also holds rights to some of the greatest Motown hits from the 1960s including Baby Love, Heard It Through The Grapevine, and My Girl, as well as other timeless standards, such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Every Breath You Take and You’ve Got A Friend. Its catalogue is also home to a wide range of film and TV scores, including some of the most recognizable songs of all time such as New York, New York, Over the Rainbow and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

Rob Wiesenthal, Chief Financial Officer, Sony Corporation of America, said: “EMI Music Publishing is an iconic company with legendary copyrights and world-class executive talent. This transaction reinforces our strategy of building the operational breadth of Sony/ATV Music Publishing while tapping the extraordinary expertise and experience of Marty Bandier and his management team. 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.”

Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, added: “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. Our track record at Sony/ATV over the past four years demonstrates our ability to build a strong platform that sustains significant growth. The opportunity represented by this transaction is both transformative for Sony/ATV and a truly special moment for me, personally.”

Stephen Volk, Chairman of the Board of EMI Group and Vice Chairman of Citigroup, added: “After evaluating all alternatives, we believe that this transaction achieves our objective of maximizing the value of EMI for Citi while providing EMI Music Publishing with a partner in the Sony consortium that appreciates this wonderful business, its incredible roster of songwriters both new and old, and its staff who work so hard to deliver successful outcomes for the people they represent. 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.”

The investor group that snapped up EMI Music Publishing consists of Sony Corporation of America, the Estate of Michael Jackson, Mubadala Development Company PJSC, Jynwel Capital Limited, the Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners LP and David Geffen.Music Business Worldwide

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