Feeds

Battle for EMI hots up

... while EC approves BMG deal

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.