Top music execs paid close to $200m from EMI sale, with Martin Bandier netting the lion’s share – reports

A picture is beginning to emerge of how Sony Corporation’s multi-billion takeover of EMI Music Publishing (EMP) has resulted in a serious personal windfall for a handful of executives – not least outgoing Sony/ATV boss Martin Bandier.

According to sources, some of Sony/ATV’s most senior execs are sharing in a sum worth close to $200m, thanks to a pre-sale compensation payout structure agreed with these individuals.

These execs have apparently been incentivised to grow the value of EMP ever since 2012, when the firm was sold by Citigroup for $2.2bn. Sony acquired 30% of EMP on that occasion, while a Mubadala-led consortium snapped up 60%.

As a result of that 2012 deal, Sony/ATV became the global administrator of the EMI Music Publishing catalog. And the prior firm’s top brass were told that, should they succeed in ballooning the value of EMP, they would share in the spoils come sale day.

Last year, that day came: Sony Corporation paid $2.3bn to acquire the 60% of EMI Music Publishing it didn’t already own, in a deal which closed in November. 

This $2.3bn sale gave EMP a $4.75bn valuation – a 116% rise on what the company was valued at under Citigroup’s ownership just six year prior (ie. $2.2bn jumping to $4.75bn).

Sony subsequently also acquired a further 10% in EMP last year from the Jackson Estate, to take full control of the company.

Now, Page Six reports that Martin Bandier, who will be leaving Sony/ATV after 12 years next month, will net nearly $100m from a combination of “bonuses and ‘options’ or equity” he cashed out from the pair of Sony/EMP deals last year.

This is no great shock: a report from Hits Daily Double last year suggested that Bandier was “entitled to around half” the total executive compensation payout related to EMP’s sale to Sony, which at that point was expected to land between $180m and $200m.

Other high-level Sony/ATV execs who were likely to participate, Hits suggested, included the publisher’s global CMO Brian Monaco, as well as its Co-President Danny Strick, global CFO Joe Puzio and worldwide Business Affairs chief Peter Brodsky.

Sony/ATV’s outgoing Worldwide President of Creative, Guy Moot – who will soon become CEO and Co-Chairman of Warner/Chappell – is also thought to have earned a slice.

Jon Platt is expected to succeed Martin Bandier as global Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV when Q1 2019 comes to a close.Music Business Worldwide

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