EMI’s Final Resting Place

December 20, 2010 – In The News

The EMI record label, home to The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Frank Sinatra and others, was acquired by British financier Guy Hands’ firm Terra Firm in 2007 and backed by a loan from Citigroup. As Hands’ partners are reluctant to spend more money in the music business, Citi is expected to take over EMI by the end of the year but will look to flip the company quickly. Lori Landew comments on a few possible bidders, saying, “I wouldn’t be surprised if Google raises a hand. They’re always looking for content.”

Another possible bidder is Warner Music Group. “If you put EMI and WMG together, it places their market share on par with Sony or Universal,” says Landew. “If they can do it and the numbers make sense, it would seem to be a good move.”

Landew believes Citi will try to sell the company as a whole first, which may not be a good thing. “The fewer major labels there are, the fewer places there are for artists to have a home,” she says. “Inevitably, there is a shedding of artists at some point. And for the consumer, there is less choice.”

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