Sony Corp. is buying EMI Music Publishing, getting its hands on a catalog of 2.1 million songs from Beyonce, Carole King and other artists as it embarks on a new growth plan built on content and services.
The Japanese company will buy about 60 percent equity interest from a consortium led by from Mubadala Investment Co. for about $2 billion, Sony said in a statement. The Tokyo-based company already owns almost 40 percent of EMI, operates the business and had been in talks to buy the library for the past few months.
Mubadala said the EMI deal is based on an enterprise value of $4.75 billion, exceeding its target of getting at least $4 billion. That’s double what the Sony-led group, which also includes billionaire David Geffen, paid for the business six years ago. That makes the sale the largest music-industry transaction since the last time EMI changed hands.
EMI’s extensive catalog will solidify Sony’s position as the largest music publisher amid a boom in streaming services that has fueled valuations for music copyrights. The transaction is the first major strategic move by Kenichiro Yoshida, who took over as chief executive officer in April. He also unveiled a three-year plan on Tuesday that embraces Sony’s growing
reliance on income from gaming subscriptions and entertainment.
“We are thrilled to bring EMI Music Publishing into the Sony family and maintain our number one position in the music publishing industry,” Yoshida said in the statement.
Sony is paying $1.9 billion forthe 60 percent equity stake from the consortium.