Citigroup Deploying Troops for ‘Operation Dump EMI’

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EMI Music is a label steeped in history.

But from the perspective of Citibank, EMI is a soiled asset steeped in debt. And now, it’s time to sell – fast.

According to details emerging Wednesday from the Wrap, Citigroup is pushing ahead with an aggressive plan to quickly drop this ‘problem’.  That includes word of a low-ball $2.5 billion price tag, and a familiar circle of billionaire suitors.  One of those prospective bidders told the Wrap that Citigroup is “nearing the final stages of producing the offering papers,” which would include recent financial details related to Citigroup’s short-lived ownership.

That resonated with one our sources, who is not a bidder but has knowledge of the sales discussion.  “It’s operation dump EMI, and yes it’s getting stepped up,” the source told Digital Music News, while pointing to some urgency to remove the label group from the Citigroup balance sheet.  The source also pointed to some similarities to the recent Warner Music Group sell-off, including the presence of some of the same bidders.  And, a similar desire to sell a consolidated, recording and publishing unit – if possible.

More as it develops.