As Universal has its plan to buy the EMI recording division approved subject to remedies, the Sony-led consortium that bought EMI Music Publishing has begun selling off the catalogues it was required to by the European Commission in order to gain approval for its deal.
The Sony-led team secured deal approval in Europe with only a one stage investigation partly because it quickly put forward a list of concessions, in particular the sale of the Virgin and Famous Music UK publishing catalogues.
With the merger of the Sony/ATV and EMI publishing companies now well under way, according to Reuters reps for the combined publishing enterprise have now contacted over 20 possible buyers to see if they want to see the non-disclosure agreement that will kick off the bidding process.
Reuters says that the auction will be managed by US investment bank Shot Tower Capital in association with lawyer John Branca, who is also co-executor of the Michael Jackson estate, Sony’s business partner in the Sony/ATV venture, and therefore also one of the new owners of EMI Music Publishing.
The various catalogues could fetch in the region of $150 million. Some of the possible bidders for the catalogues will also being weighing up bids for the EMI record labels Universal is planning to sell as part of its EC regulator agreement, though there is generally a bigger market for publishing rather than master recording rights.