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Citigroup clutches EMI to bosom

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Ownership of EMI, home of The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Sir Simon Rattle, has passed into the hands of US mega money corp Citigroup.

EMI said in a statement today that Citigroup had acquired 100 per cent of its share capital, and completed a recapitalisation of the debt-laden music group.

Through this, the group's debt has been cut by 65 per cent to £1.2bn, and EMI has £300m of cash available to help it develop new artists and/or digitally remaster and repackage its back catalogue. Existing management will stay in place.

The takeover of what is arguably the UK's most iconic record label by Citigroup follows a long-running spat between the bank and the label's previous owner - Guy Hands' Terra Firma investment group. Citigroup had backed his takeover of EMI back in 2007.

“Citi today took ownership of MAL (Maltby Acquisitions Ltd), the holding company that controls EMI," said Citi vice chairman Stephen Volk.

"In the process, the previously unsustainable debt load at EMI was reduced by 65 per cent, leaving the company with a strong balance sheet and the ability to invest in and grow its business. This is a positive development for EMI, its employees, artists, songwriters and suppliers.

Volk is now chairman of MAL, and added: "Our objective is to have EMI perform its absolute best for our shareholders over time."

Funnily enough, EMI struck a new deal with Pink Floyd last month. Pink Floyd had a famous song called Money. Apparently it's the root of all evil today. ®

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