LONDON – Universal Music is close to sealing a $1.5 billion-plus deal to buy EMI Music, home to acts including the Beatles and Coldplay, with owner Citigroup pushing for negotiations to be concluded by the weekend, according to The Guardian.
Universal is the only bidder still in the running to buy EMI’s recorded music division after Warner Music withdrew its $1.5 billion offer after talks broke down with Citigroup.
Meanwhile, there are believed to be two potential buyers for EMI’s music publishing division, according to The Guardian, with reports that Sony/ATV has emerged as a rival bidder to BMG Rights Management, long seen as the frontrunner to pick up the $2 billion business.
Citigroup is understood to be looking for between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion for EMI Music. Universal is thought to have offered $1.2 billion with negotiations down to how many hundreds of millions to factor into the deal to cover pension liabilities and leases.
Talks with Universal, which were revived after the music company supposedly pulled out of the auction, could still easily fall apart, said The Guardian.
At the heart of Universal’s plan is a desire to snatch the profitable rights that EMI controls over the Beatles catalogue.