Feeds

Battle for EMI hots up

... while EC approves BMG deal

High performance access to file storage

EMI's board has been trying to sell the music group almost from the day it was liberated from Thorn EMI a decade ago - and it's let it be known privately for some months that it favours a private equity buy-out. This weekend a concrete offer landed in their laps.

Private equity firm Terra Firma, run by financier Guy Hands, has offered £2.4bn (or 265p per share) for the British music group, and EMI has recommended the deal to its shareholders.

The record label part of EMI saw revenue fall by 15 per cent, as overall losses increased. EMI reported a loss of £263.6m in the first three months of 2007, compared to a profit of £118.7m a year ago. That includes a large one-off restructuring charge. Pre-tax profits excluding charges weren't much better, however, down 61 per cent to £62.7m.

The advantage of private capital for EMI is that it sidesteps regulatory concerns. A Terra Firma-owned EMI would see the the Big 4 remain the Big 4. It's also reported that the private equity group would want to keep hold of the record label - rather than keep the publishing and sell off the ailing recording business.

But no one expects that Warner Music Group, which cleared regulatory issues with the indie sector, only to see its second attempt to takeover rejected by EMI, is out of the picture just yet.

Warner had a bid for EMI accepted in 1999, before abandoning the deal after feisty opposition from the independent labels. It tried again last year, but this time the price wasn't right - and it still wasn't right a few weeks ago, when another, lower offer was rejected by the board.

Meanwhile the European Commission today approved Universal's takeover of BMG Music Publishing, requiring UMG to divest some of its own publishing catalogs in the EU before it could approve the $2bn deal.

That's not the end of the story.

Indie trade group Impala, which scuppered the Sony-BMG tie-up last year, said it would mull over the acceptability of the concessions.

"Impala reserves the right to seek a reversal and stay of the decision on both procedural and substantive grounds if, after consultation with its members, it concludes the remedies are insufficient," the group said in a statement.

This is no empty threat. The Commission had originally nodded through the Sony-BMG merger, but after Impala appealed to the European Court, the Commission found itself not only on the losing side, but having to pay the bulk of the legal costs of the case. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.