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EMI Considers Outsourcing

EMI OUTSOURCING? EMI, looking to avoid a debt default that could turn the music company over to its lender Citigroup, has explored the idea of licensing its releases in North America to rival record labels, according to the Wall Street Journal. Sources say the talks are at a preliminary stage, but aren’t sure the move would accomplish its goal. The group is said to be offering other labels the chance to manage its North American catalog business for a five-year period, which Terra Firma thinks could raise 400 million ($601 million). “Reaching such a deal… could take months and require regulatory approvals—too late for the pressing debt-repayment timetable Terra Firma faces. A deal could trigger an antitrust inquiry, but probably wouldn’t require one to get the deal done since it wouldn’t amount to a merger or acquisition," said a source. Whether Citigroup would OK such an arrangement is not clear, either. (3/22a)

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