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BMG Acquires Mute Catalog from UMG Divestments

FIRST SALE: The sale of the first divestment from UMG’s acquisition of EMI, as stipulated by the European Commission, has been completed. The Mute catalog, which includes world-wide rights to Depeche Mode and Moby, among others, has been acquired by Hartwig Masuch's BMG Rights Management for around $10 million, according to sources close to the deal. A UMG spokesman commented: “We know that BMG will provide a good home for Mute's artists. Moving forward, we are confident that with our sales strategy and the number of parties that have expressed interest in the remaining assets, we will be able to create exactly the level of value that we would expect from the quality of these divestments." Label founder and IMPALA member Daniel Miller was rumored to have been interested in reacquiring the label. BMG Rights is also reportedly in the bidding for the big prize, the Parlophone Label Group, along with “about a dozen others.” Initial bids are expected by the first of the year. (12/21p)

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