An investor group comprised of Sony Corporation of America, the Estate of Michael Jackson, Mubadala Development Company PJSC, Jynwel Capital Limited, the Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners LP and David Geffen today announced the closing of its acquisition of EMI Music Publishing from Citigroup. Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a joint venture between Sony and the Estate of Michael Jackson, will administer EMI Music Publishing on behalf of the investor group.
The acquisition brings together two of the leading music publishers, each with comprehensive and diverse catalogs of music copyrights covering all genres, periods and territories around the world. EMI Music Publishing owns over 1.3 million copyrights, including the greatest hits of Motown, classic film and television scores and timeless standards, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing owns more than 750,000 copyrights, featuring the Beatles, contemporary superstars and the Leiber Stoller catalog.
“Music publishing, along with the rest of our entertainment companies, has been a bright spot in our business portfolio, and we expect that trend to continue with this important acquisition,” said Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO, Sony Corporation. “Through our Sony/ATV Music Publishing joint venture with the Estate of Michael Jackson, Sony has become the world’s preeminent music publishing operation, administering the most prolific and diverse catalog in the world.”
Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, added, “Today is a truly special day. For me, the best part of being in the music publishing business has always been the opportunity to be associated with talented songwriters and great songs. As I become reunited with the company that has many of the greatest songwriters and songs of all time, I look forward to helping create the best music publishing company in the world, with the extraordinary talent–artists, songwriters and staff–at the combined Sony/ATV and EMI.”
EMI Music Publishing represents some of the most successful writers working in the music industry today, including Beyoncé, Drake, Jay-Z, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, P!nk, Scissor Sisters, Rihanna, Stargate, Usher, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Tinie Tempah, Duffy, Arcade Fire, Dallas Davidson, Don Omar, Alan Jackson and Hillary Scott.
Its remarkable catalog spans the decades with some of the greatest hits dating from the early 20th century to today. EMI Music Publishing holds rights to some of the greatest Motown hits from the 1960s, including Baby Love, Heard It Through the Grapevine and My Girl, as well as other timeless standards, such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Every Breath You Take and You’ve Got a Friend. Its catalog is home to a wide range of film and TV scores, including some of the most recognizable songs of all time, such as New York, New York, Over the Rainbow and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Citi’s Corporate and Investment Bank acted as financial advisor to Citi and EMI Group. Clifford Chance LLP, Shearman & Sterling LLP and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP acted as legal advisors to Citi and EMI Group. The Raine Group, Peter J. Solomon Company, UBS Investment Bank, Guggenheim Securities LLC and Shot Tower Capital acted as financial advisors to the investor group. UBS Investment Bank acted as sole lead arranger of the senior credit facilities. White & Case LLP, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Allen & Overy LLP, Arnold & Porter LLP, Baker & McKenzie LLP, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Grubman Indursky & Shire, P.C., Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Ziffren Brittenham LLP acted as legal advisors to the investor group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing.