UMG Could Sell Off Parlophone Label As Part Of EMI Concessions
July 27, 2012
The latest twist in the Universal Music-EMI sale saga finds longtime British label Parlophone up for sale, as part of UMG's concessions for European approval of the deal. Sources tell the Los Angeles Times that BMG Rights Management has inquired about buying Parlophone, which is currently an EMI property, and counts Coldplay, Gorillaz and Kylie Minogue on its roster overseas.
According to the Times, Universal had originally wanted to keep Parlophone but sell off EMI's other two largest labels in the UK: Virgin Records and EMI Records. By selling Parlophone but keeping the other two, UMG would satisfy the European Commission's stance that Universal should not control more than 40 percent of any country's market share. However, a sale would not include Parlophone's rights to The Beatles' catalog in Britain.
The Times reports that over 20 companies have made their interest known in buying assets from UMG-EMI. Sources tell Billboard.biz that UMG will submit its new divestment plan to the European Commission within the next few days, and possibly as soon as today.