Team BMG haven’t shed any tears over losing out to Sony/ATV in the race to buy EMI Music Publishing, or that’s what they are saying.
They seem to think their rivals for EMI’s publishing business in the end paid too much for the song catalogues, with top man Hartwig Masuch indicating to Billboard he wasn’t willing to match the Sony consortium when it offered a rumoured $300 million more than BMG because “we are not gamblers”.
As previously reported, BMG were long mooted as possible buyers for the EMI publishing catalogues, even though Masuch once told Music Week he was just as interested in the EMI recordings business. The acquisitive version-two BMG co-owned by German media conglom Bertelsmann and investment types KKR has grown rapidly by buying up a load of independent music rights owners in the last few years, though the EMI deal would have made them industry leaders.
Still, Masuch says his company will continue to grow in the coming years, telling Billboard this week: “The acquisition of EMI Music Publishing would have been an interesting deal for us. But on the other hand, we will nevertheless reach our goals within the next three years. Therefore, [buying] EMI Music Publishing was not urgently necessary”.
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