Sony/ATV-EMI Publishing Deal Gets European Approval
April 19, 2012
A group led by Sony/ATV Music Publishing has won approval from the European Union to acquire EMI Music Publishing for $2.2 billion. According to Bloomberg, Sony/ATV's deal was approved after it agreed to certain concessions, including selling off the global rights to EMI's Virgin catalog and Sony/ATV's Famous UK portfolio.
In a statement from the EU, Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the Sony group had "offered to divest valuable and attractive catalogs containing bestselling titles as well as works of successful and promising authors. I am therefore satisfied that the competitive dynamics in the online music publishing business will be maintained.
"Having spent over 17 years of my professional life helping to build EMI Music Publishing, today is not only an important milestone on the path to final approval, but a very special day for me, personally," stated Sony/ATV Chairman/CEO Martin Bandier. "But more than that, everyone at Sony/ATV joins me in recognizing the unparalleled talent and incredible assets of EMI Music Publishing and the great opportunities that lie ahead."
Yesterday it was reported that Sony was planning major cuts after the EMI deal goes through, with plans to lay off roughly 60 percent of EMI Publishing's staff over the course of two years..Billboard.biz has printed a memo from Bandier to his staff, in response to the New York Times report. Bandier wrote, "Over the last several months, we have been working with many units of your company to develop a strategic integration plan. This plan changes daily, as we continue to analyze the vast amount of information and meet with the department and regional heads at EMI Music Publishing. Since various governmental agencies around the world are still reviewing the proposed transaction, it was, to us, premature and inappropriate to share our thinking publicly. It is unfortunate that the New York Times received this information while we are still developing this integration plan."
He added, "While we do not have a completed integration plan to date, I will share with you some of our thoughts as to that process. If the transaction is approved by all the necessary agencies around the world, our current plan is to reduce the total number of employees of the two companies. The exact numbers or percentages are not final. Since our companies remain separate, we continue to learn more about the existing structure of EMI Music Publishing, which is quite different than when I was there, and evaluate the information we receive. Without a doubt, it is our intention to retain the best and brightest employees at both companies."