Vivendi and Universal Music Group to acquire EMI Music

Vivendi and its subsidiary, Universal Music Group have agreed to purchase EMI’s recorded music division from Citigroup for a total consideration of £1.2 billion representing 7 x EBITDA prior to synergies.

EMI Group is one of the world’s most prominent music companies. Its recorded music division, EMI Music, operates around the world and represents artists spanning all musical tastes and genres through record labels including Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Latin, Capitol Records Nashville, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Records, EMI Records Nashville, Manhattan, Parlophone, Virgin Classics and Virgin Records.

Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of Vivendi, stated: “We are very proud to welcome EMI into the Vivendi family. We all respect the labels within EMI as well as the artists and employees who contribute to its success. They will find within our Group a safe, long-term home, headquartered in Europe.” He then added: “We plan to acquire EMI’s recorded music division on attractive terms, adhering to our principle of total financial discipline. We are confident that we will be able to create additional value for our shareholders thanks to our knowledge of the industry and our proven track record of successful integration. Lucian Grainge’s personal experience and heritage will be a major asset in making the combined entity a great success.”

Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group, added: “This is a historic acquisition for UMG and an important step in preserving the legacy of EMI Music. For me, as an Englishman, EMI was the preeminent music company that I grew up with. Its artists and their music provided the soundtrack to my teenage years. Therefore, UMG is committed to both preserving EMI’s cultural heritage and artistic diversity and also investing in its artists and people to grow the company’s assets for the future. As a result, we will be better positioned to fully capitalise on the many new and exciting opportunities in the current marketplace, and also able to better serve our artists, songwriters and business partners, while offering fans even more choice.”

Vivendi will finance the transaction from its existing credit lines. Concurrently, Vivendi and UMG will also sell 500 million euros worth of non-core UMG assets.

Vivendi and UMG have been advised by Allen & Co. and SJ Berwin on this transaction. Citi Global Banking acted as financial advisor to Citi and EMI. Clifford Chance LLP, Shearman & Sterling LLP and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP acted as legal advisors to Citi and EMI.

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