EMI CEO Faxon Says No Immediate Layoffs Following Sale
November 14, 2011

On Friday, Citigroup officially found its buyers for EMI, as the recorded music division was sold to Vivendi/Universal Music Group and its publishing arm was sold to a group led by Sony/ATV. Now the fallout begins from the multi-billion dollar deals.

Billboard.biz has released a memo from EMI CEO Roger Faxon, sent to the company's staff late Friday following the announcement of both deals. Faxon notes that both deals will "need to clear the necessary regulatory hurdles" before any changes begin to take place, and until then, "EMI will continue to look much as it does today."

In a Q&A section of the memo, Faxon answers the question "Will there be layoffs?" by saying, "During this transition period it is business as usual for us. That means we will continue to implement our current plans and drive the performance of the business. However, to be very clear we are not planning any transaction-related layoffs, in anticipation of the completion." Of course, there is the likely chance of layoffs happening further down the road when and if the deals eventually are approved and closed.

Faxon notes that legal separation of both the recorded music and publishing divisions of EMI must be completed before either deal can close, followed by applications from UMG and Sony/ATV to anti-trust regulators.

Meanwhile, Vivendi has shot down rumors that it could sell off UMG, following the acquisition of EMI. According to the Financial Times, Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said, "We haven't grown Universal Music with two major transactions just to spin it off." He added that "we're not bankers; we're not private equity. Music runs through our veins."

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Mark Adams
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