After almost eight months of sole ownership, Citigroup is finalizing the sale on one of the four remaining major music labels. Instead of selling off EMI as a single package deal, Citigroup is seeking to spin off the two divisions of the label, selling the publishing house and record label as separate entities.
In a sale that will make music history, the proposed $3.3 billion dollar bargain will see the major music label echelon of recording capstone at three suspected companies; Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and something along the lines of Warner-EMI Music Megalith.
That is of course, if decisions pending are made shortly. As one could imagine, a few companies are in the running for both the publishing division and the recording division, with tensions running taut.
At present, BMG Rights Management and Sony are embattled over the publishing division.
Though no clear picture has been cast on an apparent winning bidder, the New York Post has reported that sources believe BMG is the preferred bidder for the $2 billion price tagged publisher. Due to potential anti-trust issues with Sony, those sources implied BMG has a better chance in galvanizing the sale, but Sony is still in it to win after having secured enough funding for the publishing house to fall into their hands.
As for the record label whom houses acts such as Coldplay and Katy Perry the cool $1.3 to $1.5 billion price tag is within the sights of Warner Music Group. Warner’s parent company Access Industries is acutely interested in the deal potentially making Warner the largest record label around.
However, Citigroup reportedly sought to snag $4 billion off the combined sale to recuperate from their overall investment on EMI after obtaining the remainder in stock from the private equity firm Terra Firma in early February. With that in mind, if Vivendi is willing to fork out more for EMI, Universal Music Group might find their music roster a few megastars heavier than before.