Coldplay divestment gets media's attention

BETWEEN A ROCK & A HARD PLACE: Given that UMG is being squeezed into selling Parlophone, which the N.Y. Times’ Ben Sisario describes as “the heart of EMI’s holdings in Europe—and the home of Coldplay, one of the most popular bands on the planet, as well as Radiohead’s catalog—news outlets that have up to now ignored UMG-EC negotiations are jumping on the rapidly unfolding story. These include the L.A. Times, which headlined its recap “BMG wants to buy Coldplay's British label Parlophone.” According to Sisario’s own source, Parlophone acts like Blur, Gorillaz, Kylie Minogue, the Verve, as well as acts signed to EMI’s American labels that Parlophone distributes in Europe, including the Beastie Boys, probably won’t be included in the divestment. “Peeling off Parlophone could have an adverse effect on the value of Universal’s overall deal for EMI,” Sisario writes, echoing I.B. Bad’s point immediately below. “If Universal is forced to sell big pieces of EMI for less than it paid, and also loses some of the $157 million it expected in annual savings, the deal could end up far more expensive for Universal.” (7/27a)

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