Another potential wrinkle appeared in the current auction of EMI this week, with the reappearance of Guy Hands, who is taking legal action to recover documents explaining the basis for Citigroup‘s takeover of the music company in February of this year. According to initial reports, Citi tapped PricewaterhouseCoopers to handle administration of the takeover process, and Terra Firma is now taking action against both parties after previous unsuccessful attempts to acquire a satisfactory explanation. After Hand’s courtroom defeat at the end of 2010, it was believed that the EMI takeover would not come until closer to summer of this year, given the debt-payment schedule, however the bank took action in February, after rumors in January that they were already shopping for buyers. So far Citi’s response to the initial sentiment that this new twist could cause a serious problem for their auction of the music group, was to indemnify all bidders currently pursuing EMI, according to the Financial Times. Some insiders are wondering if this isn’t just more posturing from Hands in an attempt to strike a blow against his former lender, particularly after recent widespread speculation that EMI could fetch a much higher price than originally believed. Considering the scuttlebutt earlier this year was that the abrupt takeover came as a result of threats from his own investors, one in particular, the answer might be yes… This latest development surrounding the EMI auction, comes after talk that the looming copyright termination battle royale, is also effecting the bidding process, though most observers share that neither issue will likely have crippling outcomes… Meanwhile, continuing his rounds with the press as artist-spokesman for the copyright termination topic, Don Henley speaks to Rolling Stone about the copyright law, options that artists have and how the record companies are not going to take it lying down… And according to the New York Post, independent music pubco Bug Music is taking second-round bids from interested parties, including KKR-backed BMG Rights Management, Ole Music and Imagen among others…
All posts tagged Don Henley
Bits & Pieces: Just when you thought it was safe to buy EMI, Legal-Eagle Don Henley & Bug Music still for sale
An article in the New York Times on Monday, which focuses on the looming copyright termination period that will start in 2013, has stirred up wider attention to an issue and era that record labels and music publishers have had on their calendars for years. The end of the 1970′s into the 1980′s was a time when many now-classic albums were released, helping to bring about a surge in album sales at a time when it was much needed – that coupled with the advent of the CD, carried the industry to the end of the century on a high. The potential loss of copyright ownership to both master recordings and underlying compositions starting in less than two years from now, has the capability of delivering a serious blow to the already beleaguered labels. Today a follow up piece on the Times ArtsBeat blog featured a Q&A with Don Henley, discussing his efforts to inform artists of their rights to get back ownership of their works… The Los Angeles Times examined the possibility of an EMI merger with one of the other three major music groups over the weekend, making comment that regulatory hurdles might not be what they once were. The decade-long industry decline and the technology advances that have corresponded, can be seen as having lessened dominance by the major labels and more importantly decreased the power to dictate consumer pricing, as the article’s sources mention. However, the ability to stifle technology in the form of new digital music services that need licenses from the labels should be considered… Elsewhere, Bruno Mars manager Brandon Creed has been hired as an A&R consultant for the reshaping Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown labels, reporting to label group CEO Barry Weiss… HTC made a large investment in Beats Electronics, the headphone company founded by Dr. Dre and Interscope Records ruler Jimmy Iovine, hopefully allowing the two more time to release Dre’s long-awaited next album and focus on winemaking. Forbes reports that the deal could potentially make Dre one of hip-hop’s richest… And is Turntable.fm more hype than hope? The number of unique visitors to the site in the month of July was reportedly just over 200,000 - not exactly game-changing, yet at least.