Confirmed: Universal sells Co-Op - and racks up £530m from EMI asset sales

Confirmed: Universal sells Co-Op - and racks up £530m from EMI asset sales

Universal parent Vivendi has confirmed that it has finalised a deal to sell Co-Operative Music. Music Week understands that [PIAS] has been successful in its acquisition bid for the rival distribution and services company.

Following the announcement of its full-year fiscal results last night, Vivendi has confirmed to Music Week that seven divestments related to Universal's acquisition of EMI Music - aside from Parlophone Label Group - have now been sold to six separate buyers for around £45m in total.

These include Mute and Sanctuary Records, which have both been sold to BMG - and Co-Op, which has now been purchased by [PIAS].

That leaves four currently unnanounced buyers of four more separate EMI divestments.

These acquisitions have been made in addition to the sale of Parlophone Label Group - which was bought by Warner earlier this month for £487m

Combining Warner's buyout of PLG and the additional money accrued from other assets, Universal has already clawed back approximately £532m from EMI divestments.

That means UMG effectively bought the two-thirds of EMI it has held onto - including The Beatles catalogue, Capitol Records, Virgin Records and wholly-owned EMI business in Germany, Japan and the US - for around £668m.

Also, Vivendi has confirmed that Univeral is yet to sell its 50% share of the huge-selling Now! brand in Europe - likely to net the major even more millions of pounds.

The company's CEO Jean-Francois Dubos said: "The disposal of EMI assets is a success, with 1/3 of EMI revenue sold for almost up the initial price of the acquisition."

CFO Phillipe Gaston added "UMG has successfully closed the EMI acquisition and sold the Brussels mandated remedies at excellent conditions...

"The proceeds from EMI asset sales have reached about £530 million. That is close to 1/2 of the initial price tag we paid for the whole of EMI.

"So basically we will have sold about 1/3 of the revenue for close to 1/2 of the value. With hindsight, it's going to look like a very sweet deal because when we factor in the restructuring cost, which have been incurred or which are ahead of us and the synergies, which are going to be extracted over the next couple of years, we will have paid for this acquisition less some 5x EBITA.

"So by any standards, this acquisition will prove extremely beneficial, leaving aside the strategic benefits of being the undisputed leader in this industry."

Co-Operative Music works with the likes of Bella Union, Moshi Moshi and other indie labels, providing support in marketing, promotions, digital distribution and other services.

It appears that [PIAS] will also have acquired the V2 Label, owned by Co-Op. Recent releases have included The Courteeners Top 10 LP ANNA.


Tags: Co-Op Music

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