The Beatles are heading to Universal, but it must divest many other rich assets to satisfy EC regulators about its £1.9bn (£1.2bn) takeover of EMI.
While The Beatles' label home Parlophone has to be divested on a global basis, meaning Universal will not to be able to get its hands on the likes of Coldplay, Blur and Kylie Minogue, the Fab Four as both a group and as individuals will move across to Universal. They have been excluded from this divestment condition.
Universal Music Group chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge and his colleagues will also get their hands on the iconic US label Capitol Records, the historic home of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and The Beach Boys and where one of EMI's current biggest acts, Katy Perry, resides.
Among the other assets coming Universal's way is Virgin Records, which Richard Branson sold to EMI in 1992. The rich catalogue includes recordings by acts such as The Human League, Culture Club, Heaven 17 and Spice Girls, while current artists include Emeli Sande, Professor Green and the Chemical Brothers.
The assets Universal must divest are:
- EMI Recording Limited (including EMI's iconic Parlophone label, with the exception of the Beatles), featuring artists such as Coldplay, David Guetta, Lilly Allen, Tinie Tempah, Blur, Gorillaz, Kylie Minogue and artists with steady revenues such as Pink Floyd, Cliff Richard, Tina Turner, Kate Bush, David Bowie, Duran Duran and Kraftwerk;
- Other EMI labels, such as Chrysalis (featuring The Ramones, Jethro Tull and Spandau Ballet, but without the Robbie Williams catalogue) and Mute Records (featuring Depeche Mode, Moby and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds);
- EMI Classics/Virgin Classics artist and composers;
- EMI's share in the popular "NOW! That's What I Call Music" compilations business;
- The following Universal labels: Sanctuary (featuring Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and the Kinks), Co-op Music Limited (a label licensing business selling artists such as Mumford and Sons and Garbage), King Island Roxystar (featuring Swedish artists such as Agnes, Eric Saade and Erik Aasle) and MPS Records (featuring Oscar Peterson, George Duke and Monty Alexander);
- Universal's share in Jazzland (featuring Norwegian artists such as Bugge Wesseltoft and Sidsel Endresen).
In addition, Universal has to divest the following local EMI entities in the following Member States:
- EMI France (featuring the David Guetta catalogue, Milow and Colonel Reyel);
- EMI Spain (featuring Macaco, Bebe, Luz Casal, Pablo Alboran and Heroes del Silencio);
- EMI Portugal (featuring Madredreus, Mariza and renowned Fado artists such as Carmane and Caminho);
- EMI Belgium (featuring Clouseau, Ozark Henry, Buscemi and Novastar);
- EMI Denmark (featuring Kim Larsen, Christophe, Bjornskov and Turboweekend);
- EMI Sweden (featuring Lasse Stefanz, Magnus Uggla and Eric Amarillo);
- EMI Norway (featuring Madrugada and Silvert Høyem, Lene Marlin and Morten Abel);
- EMI Poland (featuring Gregorz Ciechowski, Republika, Bajm, Namaam and Budka Suflera);
- EMI Czech Republic (featuring T?i sestri, Orlík, Kabát and Lucie Bíla);
- Universal Greece (featuring Eleftheria Arvanitaki, the Goin' Through Group and Nikos Vertis).