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SONY ACQUIRES MUBADALA'S SHARE IN EMI PUBLISHING

Well, it's done: Sony has reached a deal with the Mubadala-led group of investors to acquire the latter's interest in EMI Music Publishing.

The investors' consortium holds 60% of EMI to Sony's 30% per a deal struck in 2012, while the Michael Jackson Estate holds the remaining 10%. The acquisition is based on a valuation of $4.75 billion, very much in the sweet spot floated in earlier discussion of a potential deal. Sony is expected to pay $2.3b for the remaining interest, and will assume EMI's gross debt.

The deal is, of course, subject to regulatory approval; with its closing, Sony will hold 90% of EMI Pub.

"We are thrilled to bring EMI Music Publishing into the Sony family and maintain our number one position in the music publishing industry," declared Sony Corp President/CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. "I would also like to convey my gratitude to Mubadala, our equity partner in EMI Music Publishing, for sharing our long-term perspective on the potential success of music publishing and their support as we grew the business. The music business has enjoyed a resurgence over the past couple of years, driven largely by the rise of paid subscription-based streaming services. In the entertainment space, we are focusing on building a strong IP portfolio, and I believe this acquisition will be a particularly significant milestone for our long-term growth."

Added Mubadala Head of Private Equity and EMI Chairman Adib Mattar, "EMI Music Publishing represents one of the world’s largest and most diverse catalog of copyrights with iconic songs that span every decade over the last one hundred years. Writers and artists only stand to benefit under consolidated ownership and should feel proud to be part of the Sony family. The sale of our consortium’s interest in EMI Music Publishing represents a milestone for Mubadala and our private equity business."

We expect that right now Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier, who built EMI Music Publishing in the first place, is lighting a cigar.

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