Citigroup and EMI - Who Will Be the New Buyer?

EMI-Logo2.gifOne thing is for sure EMI will be sold to someone in the very near future. City A.M. gives the who's, what's, and some why's of Citibank's write-down of EMI's debt and seizure of EMI assets from Terra Firma Partners. In the companies soon-to-be-sold dance it's the sound of the first downbeat The question is who will be the dance partner?


Will it be Apple? The Motley Fool thinks that Apple won't want to endanger relationships with other labels like Sony Music (who they've already ticked off with the denial of Sony's reader App because the revenue stream wouldn't got through the iTunes store.) Motley is betting on the Warner Music Group as the frontrunner for an EMI acquisition.


The Music Network's MusicWeek thinks that Warner will be EMI's next owner, too. Their article points to Warner's enlistment of Goldman Saks is the first step in the bidding process. Other voices on the EMI sale include The Economist, who lean strongly toward Warner as the future owner of EMI. Even the NY Post agrees that Warner is the most likely suitor, as does the LA Times. But there's also Universal Music. They, too, would see synergistic gains of adding EMI to their label stable.


So what do I think? Given EMI's back catalog (which is still in the process of being digitized during this upheaval) and EMI's recent deal with Spotify to stream its catalog, I think Warner, Universal, and Sony would have the most to gain from an EMI acquisition. Who will finally own EMI when all the dust settles?


Whoever has the deepest pockets...
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