Bloomberg News

Warner Music Agrees to Buy Coldplay Label for 487 Million Pounds

February 07, 2013

Warner Music to Buy Coldplay Label for 487 Million Pounds

Chris Martin of Coldplay performs in Auckland, New Zealand. Photographer: Shane Wenzlick/Getty Images

Warner Music Group (WMG:US) agreed to buy EMI Group’s Parlophone Label Group, home to Coldplay, the Pet Shop Boys and Tina Turner, from Universal Music Group for 487 million pounds ($764 million).

“Following this transaction, we will continue with our global reinvestment program that is rebuilding EMI,” Lucian Grainge, chief executive officer of New York-based UMG, said in a statement yesterday.

Vivendi SA-owned UMG, the world’s biggest record company, has been selling EMI assets to meet antitrust requirements after receiving approval from the European Commission in September for its 1.2 billion-pound acquisition of EMI from Citigroup Inc. In December, UMG agreed to sell the Mute label to BMG Rights Management.

For the Parlophone deal, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch provided financial advice to UMG and Vivendi, while SJ Berwin, Shearman & Sterling and Smiths Law gave legal advice, according to the statement. LionTree and Credit Suisse advised Warner Music.

Simon Fuller, creator of the “Idol” television show franchise, and Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, had jointly approached Universal about bidding for EMI assets, and billionaire Ron Perelman had also talked to UMG, a person familiar with the process, who asked not to be identified because it was confidential, said in November.

Citigroup agreed in November 2011 to sell EMI’s recorded music and publishing business in separate transactions for a combined $4.1 billion.

A Sony Corp.-led group paid $2.2 billion for the publishing assets. Citigroup seized EMI from Guy Hands’s private equity firm, Terra Firma Partners Ltd., in February 2011 after it failed to meet loan terms. Hands initially bought EMI for 4 billion pounds in 2007.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Schweizer in London at kschweizer1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net.


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