Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Universal Faces Music as Brussels Orders EMI Sell-Off

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Universal Faces Music as Brussels Orders EMI Sell-Off

Article excerpt

Byline: Gideon Spanier

LONDON bankers were today looking forward to a big auction of record label EMI's assets as its new owner, Universal Music, pays a "heavy price" to gain approval from Brussels for its [pounds sterling]1.2 billion takeover.

The European Commission will spell out details of the concessions it has wrung from Universal when regulators give their formal approval in an announcement expected tomorrow. According to the Wall Street Journal, Universal must agree to sell 60% of EMI's businesses in Europe, measured by revenue.

This will include the celebrated Parlophone label, home of Coldplay, the Gorillaz and Queen, and several other key subsidiaries such as Ensign and Mute, Virgin Classics and Chrysalis.

One person involved in the talks in Brussels was quoted as saying European approval "has come at a very heavy price for Universal".

The source added: "The next question is whether they will recoup the losses on its disposals and whether they will go to a single buyer. …

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