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MJ Estate and Sony attempting to acquire EMI's Publishing Assets

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MJ Estate and Sony attempting to acquire EMI's Publishing Assets

Post by Admin on Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:31 pm

BMG Rights is close to winning a bidding war for Sony/ATV’s Rosetta music publishing collection, The Post has learned.

BMG, the music publishing giant owned by private-equity firm KKR and German media conglomerate Bertelsmann, has offered about $90 million for the rights to 30,000 songs from ’80s artists such as Bryan Ferry, Tears for Fears and Culture Club.

While the deal hasn’t been finalized, several sources said BMG won.

Sony/ATV, a joint venture between Sony and the Michael Jackson estate, agreed to divest assets in order for a Sony-led group to gain regulatory approval for its acquisition of EMI’s publishing assets.

BMG Rights is this close to buying Sony/ATV’s Rosetta music publishing catalog, which includes the rights to Culture Club and Tears for Fears, among others.Bertelsmann appears to have beat out rivals, including Warner Music Group, G2 Investment Group, Primary Wave and Oaktree Capital. Other suitors are said to include Saban Capital, Canada’s Ole and Paris indie Because Music.

Reps either declined to comment or weren’t reachable at press time.

The value of the collection had been pegged at between $130 million and $150 million, sources said. It generates annual revenue of $25 million to $40 million, according to Billboard.

The Rosetta catalog includes artists from Virgin Music and Famous UK. Among the more contemporary acts is UK songbird Duffy, whose hit “Mercy” is considered the most valuable in the collection.

The purchase could ease the pressure on BMG to win a piece of EMI’s recorded music business being divested by Universal Music. BMG has been weighing becoming a bigger player in recorded music.

Separately, sources say Bertelsmann has been approached by several companies, including Samsung and major banks, about becoming a minority shareholder in BMG should KKR opt to sell. Samsung couldn’t be reached for comment

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