UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP (UMG) TO SELL EMI’S EUROPEAN STAKE IN NOW That’s What I Call Music! TO SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
London, England & New York, NY, Wednesday, February 27, 2013 — Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell EMI Recorded Music’s European rights in NOW That’s What I Call Music! to Sony Music Entertainment, subject to regulatory approval. Financial details were not disclosed. UMG retains its pre-existing rights to the highly successful compilation series in Europe and acquires EMI Recorded Music’s rights outside of Europe. The announcement was made today by Max Hole, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group International, and Edgar Berger, President & CEO, International, Sony Music Entertainment. This sale follows the approval of UMG’s acquisition of EMI Recorded Music by the European Commission in September 2012, and marks the last of the mandated assets to be divested.
“This sale, along with our previous transactions, not only satisfies our agreement with the European Commission, but further demonstrates the value we have been able to unlock through the targeted divestment of quality assets,” stated Mr. Hole. “Moreover, we are pleased to partner with Sony, a company that recognizes the cultural importance of this long-standing British institution.”
Sony’s Edgar Berger said, “NOW is one of the most famous and successful brands in music. We are delighted to have acquired EMI’s interests in the NOW brand in Europe and will work with Universal Music and our other partners across the industry to build the next chapter in NOW’s history.”
With over two decades of multi-platinum international success, the NOW That’s What I Call Music! series debuted in Europe in 1983. The series has since generated sales exceeding 200 million albums worldwide, including more than 84 million copies in the UK. It remains the longest selling branded compilation album in the UK.
UMG and Vivendi were advised by Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch on financial matters, and SJ Berwin on legal matters.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the global music leader, with wholly owned operations in 60 territories. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s premier music publishing operations worldwide.
Universal Music Group’s record labels include A&M/Octone, Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol Records, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, I.R.S., Island Records, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, Manhattan, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Republic Records, Universal Music Latino, Verve Music Group and Virgin Records, as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world’s most popular artists and their recordings. UMG’s catalogue is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes Global Digital Business, its new media and technologies division and Bravado, its merchandising company.
Universal Music Group is a fully owned subsidiary of Vivendi.
About Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including Arista Nashville, Beach Street Records, Bystorm Entertainment, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Epic Records, Essential Records, Flicker Records, Kemosabe Records, Legacy Recordings, MASTERWORKS, Polo Grounds, RCA Inspiration, RCA Nashville, RCA Records, Reunion Records, Roc Nation, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Syco Music and Volcano. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.