Universal Music Group is to move the German core business of the recently-acquired EMI from Cologne to Berlin.
From 2013, the larger part of EMI’s activities will be moved under the roof of Universal Music’s German headquarters, subject to the disposals of international repertoire required by the European Commission.
Frank Briegmann, President Universal Music Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Deutsche Grammophon, today outlined the strategy for the future of the EMI Germany business during a staff meeting in Cologne.
According to a company statement: “The main objective is to maintain the continuity of EMI’s domestic and international A&R; to preserve the culture of its various labels; retain as many of its staff as possible; and take advantage of efficiencies and synergies gained from being in one location.”
Moving to Universal Music Germany’s headquarters on the banks of the river Spree are EMI’s Capitol, Blue Note and Virgin labels.
EMI’s successful Schlager pop label, Electrola, will become the principal brand for this genre of music and will, in future, be based in Munich, with Koch Universal Music.
German Volkstümliche Musik will continue to be released under the Koch label.
EMI’s Rhingtön label will stay in Cologne, as Universal acknowledges that it has a ‘very strong reputation in the city’s music scene’.
Briegmann said: “I value the EMI artists and the team very highly and I have no doubt that this strategy is both workable and sustainable and we will share a successful and bright future. I am excited to welcome such experienced new colleagues in Berlin and in Munich, both on a musical and a professional level. We intend to return EMI to a period of growth and investment. All steps are coordinated closely with EMI’s works council.”
Universal Music officially acquired EMI Music in September for £1.2bn. EC regulators approved the deal on condition that certain assets - such as Parlophone (minus The Beatles), Sanctuary and Chrysalis - are divested to third-parties.