Raise your hand if you want to buy EMI or Warner Music
Are there any readers with a few spare bob who want to buy a second-hand record company? It’s a good time for anyone who wants to run the rule over label ledgers, with both EMI and Warner Music on the auction block.
In the case of EMI you’re bidding for the whole kit and kaboodle – including The Beatles, Coldplay, Gorillaz and Katy Perry. Citigroup, the US bank that took over the fabled British music company from venture capitalist Guy Hands and his Terra Firma group, has reportedly decided that its best bet is to sell off EMI as one entity rather than separately flogging its record and publishing wings.
Meanwhile there’s a sizeable list of potential suitors in the ring for Warner Music. Despite the fact, as noted by Digital Music News, that Warner Music has made net losses of more than $10 billion over the past decade, everyone from music companies Sony and Live Nation to various private equity firms are willing to pay $3 billion for the company.
Analysts have expressed their surprise at the amount of interest in the companies.
“There is a music business and somewhere, there is a value,” commented Bishop Cheen from Wells Fargo Securities to the New York Times.
It is worth emphasising that it is the music business – the catalogue of self-inflicted mistakes and mishaps should give potential buyers pause for thought. After all, didn’t Guy Hands and Terra Firma come into EMI with all guns blazing in 2007 and with the same ideas about identifying and extracting shareholder value? Instead, they left with their tails between their legs. Caveat emptor.
Katy Perry: up for sale with EMI