LONDON – EMI, the music company that housed the Beatles until it was split up and sold last year, goes on the auction block again this week as new owner Universal Music Group divests some assets to meet antitrust requirements.
Parlophone, home to Coldplay, the Pet Shop Boys and Tina Turner, accounts for about half of a package of labels with a valuation of about $635 million, according to a person familiar with the process who asked not to be identified because it is confidential.
A data room detailing the assets for sale, artist rosters and financial information will be opened this week for entities that have expressed interest, including Warner Music Group, BMG Rights and Sony Music Entertainment, the person said. Other assets being offered include the Sanctuary label, home to the Kinks and Motorhead, and the Mute label, which represents Moby.
Vivendi’s Universal Music, the world’s largest record company, bought EMI’s recorded music unit last year and must sell almost two-thirds of the business to win approval from competition regulators in Europe and the United States. Universal Music will retain London-based EMI’s rights to the Beatles and Robbie Williams among other assets.
Among the labels for sale, Parlophone, Chrysalis, EMI Classics and EMI Records, whose acts include Pink Floyd, increased revenue in the 12 months through March by 42 percent from a year earlier, according to information released to bidders that is obtained by Bloomberg News. Sales in the five months through August climbed by 5 percent, while gross profit margin rose by 2 percentage points to 52 percent, according to the data.
The first round of bidding is expected in mid- to-late December, and Universal Music is seeking to complete the sales process in the first half of next year, the person said.