Sony to acquire music giant EMI in US$1.9 billion deal

EMI is the second-largest music publishing company by revenue and either owns or holds the rights to 2.1 million pieces of music.
EMI is the second-largest music publishing company by revenue and either owns or holds the rights to 2.1 million pieces of music.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese entertainment giant Sony on Tuesday (May 22) announced a deal to acquire the music publishing firm and record label EMI for a price of around US$1.9 billion (S$2.6 billion).

Sony signed a deal with Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Mubadala to buy its 60 per cent holding in EMI, giving the Japanese firm an indirect stake of approximately 90 per cent, Sony said in a statement.

EMI is the second-largest music publishing company by revenue and either owns or holds the rights to 2.1 million pieces of music.

It either owns or administers some two million songs, including classics by the likes of Queen, Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams and Drake.

Sony already owns 2.3 million copyrights, including the Beatles catalogue.

A statement by Sony boss Kenichiro Yoshida said: "We are thrilled to bring EMI Music Publishing into the Sony family and maintain our number-one position in the music publishing industry."

He said the music business had "enjoyed a resurgence in the past couple of years" driven by subscription-based streaming services.