Sony and Warner both eyeing EMI Music Publishing for $4b sale

With one of the biggest song catalogues in the world EMI Music Publishing are up for sale with major labels zeroing in.

EMI Music Publishing have put themselves up for sale, selling their 2.2 million song catalogue for $4 billion. Among those interested in buying the London based, publishing giant are major labels Warner Music Group and Sony, who already own almost 40% of EMI.

According to a report by Bloomberg Sony Corporation held preliminary talks about acquiring a majority stake. Mubadala Investment Co, EMI’s owners in Abu Dhabi, have reportedly reached out to further possible buyers. Sources talking to Bloomberg say that Mubadala are looking into the option of forcing Sony to either acquire their stake or selling the entire company. They won’t be able to enforce this until the end of June however sources say Mubadala want to gauge how much buyers would pay for them.

The $4 billion that EMI are looking for is nearly double the $2.2 billion that Sony bought their stake for in 2012. When the sale of EMI takes place it will be the biggest music industry transaction since the last time EMI went up for sale. If Sony end up acquiring EMI they would be cemented as the world’s largest music publisher above it’s rival giants Universal and Warner.

The sale is reportedly taking place because EMI’s owners want to take advantage of music streaming’s powerful influence currently, while buyers will be able to reap the profits or EMI’s millions of songs featuring many of the world’s biggest artists. Before it was split in 2011 EMI was the fourth major label, competing side-by-side with Sony, Warner and Universal.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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