EMI Music Publishing may be up for grabs at $4bn valuation


In the streaming era of more-predictable future revenue for catalogues of music-rights, the value of these catalogues is soaring.

No wonder, then, that Mubadala Investment Co is reportedly seeking a buyer for its majority holding in EMI Music Publishing, with Bloomberg suggesting that it is hoping for a $4bn valuation of the publishing catalogue.

Its report puts Sony Corporation in pole position to buy the stake, not least because it already owns a 40% stake in EMI Music Publishing; operates the actual business; and led the consortium that originally acquired EMI’s publishing business for $2.2bn in 2011.

“Mubadala has signalled its intent to sell its majority holding, the people said, and plans to exercise an option that would force Sony to acquire its stake or trigger a sale of the entire company,” reported Bloomberg. Warner Music Group owner Len Blavatnik has “expressed interest” if Sony opts not to buy out Mubadala.

The deal would dwarf other recent acquisitions in the publishing space, such as Kobalt’s (reportedly) $160m swoop for Songs Music Publishing in December, and even Concord’s $500m-$600m acquisition of Imagem last June.

Stuart Dredge

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