It could be a very busy Friday.
Early this morning, word ‘leaked’ that EMI seller Citigroup has picked a pair of winners.
On the recording side, Universal Music Group owner Vivendi has agreed to purchase EMI for $1.9 billion (1.2 billion pounds). That is a substantial premium over the estimated price tag of between $1.2 and $1.5 billion, and enough to outdo Warner Music Group owner Access Industries.
On the publishing side, the buyer will be Sony/ATV, with a somewhat-similar price tag of $2.2 billion. That brings the total to $4.1 billion, considered far loftier than earlier estimations and potentially the result of some great salesmanship.
The information is now being reported by most major outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Guardian, and others. Citigroup, which seized EMI Group and is executing the sale, is expected to also announce the sale of both units later today. These deals look fairly cooked, barring some late-stage development.
Universal Music Group is the largest of the majors, and the absorption of EMI’s recording collection only makes it bigger. The question now is whether regulators take notice, and indie consortium Impala has already announced its intentions to fight the combination. The situation in the US seems far friendlier, and will probably involve a light review at most.