Japanese entertainment giant Sony today announced a deal to acquire the music publishing firm and record label EMI for a price of around USD 1.9 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. “We are thrilled to bring EMI Music Publishing into the Sony family and maintain our number-one position in the music publishing industry,” Sony boss Kenichiro Yoshida said in a statement. He said the music business had “enjoyed a resurgence in the past couple of years” driven by subscription-based streaming services.
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. As for Sony, it already owns 2.3 million copyrights, including the Beatles catalogue. The deal values EMI at USD 4.75 billion, the Sony statement said, adding that “the closing of the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.” Sony will later today unveil its latest strategic plan under new CEO Yoshida, expecting to focus more on content than hardware.