BY Fraser Tennant
In a $2.3bn deal which the multinational conglomerate says represents its commitment to its writers and artists, as well as to the music business as a whole, Sony Corporation has acquired a controlling stake in EMI Music Publishing – one of the world’s largest music publishing companies.
Once complete, the transaction will see Sony, which already holds the publishing rights to The Beatles, among many others, obtain a catalogue of more than two million songs, including hits by Queen, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Drake, Sam Smith, Pink, Pharrell Williams and Calvin Harris.
“We are thrilled to bring EMI Music Publishing fully into the Sony family and maintain our number one position in the music publishing industry,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, president and chief executive of Sony Corporation. “I would also like to convey my gratitude to Mubadala, our equity partner in EMI Music Publishing, for sharing our long-term perspective on the potential success of music publishing and their support as we grew the business.”
Over the past six years, Mubadala Capital – the financial investment arm of Mubadala – and Sony have worked together as partners to create value alongside Sony/ATV, Sony’s music publishing arm.
“EMI Music Publishing has been a successful investment for Mubadala,” said Hani Barhoush, head of Mubadala Capital. “I would like to personally extend my appreciation to the leadership at Sony and Sony/ATV, who have been instrumental in administering the EMI Music Publishing catalogue, as well as shaping the music landscape on a global basis. They have been tremendous partners to us.”
The Sony/Mubadala partnership, coupled with the global rise of streaming and paid streaming services, have led to an appreciation in value of the EMI Music Publishing catalogue as millions of new consumers have been provided access to innovative distribution channels. “The sale of our consortium’s interest in EMI represents a milestone for Mubadala and our private equity business,” added Adib Mattar, head of private equity for Mubadala Capital and chairman of EMI Music Publishing.
Mr Yoshida concluded: “In the entertainment space, we are focusing on building a strong intellectual property (IP) portfolio, and I believe this acquisition will be a particularly significant milestone for our long-term growth.”