EMI Left With More Than Stones

The papers reporting that EMI has major problems over Radiohead leaving the label, Robbie Williams possibly following suit, and The Rolling Stones decamping to Universal Music Group shouldn’t shed too many crocodile tears for the beleaguered U.K. label.

It’s not as if company chief Guy Hands – head of the Terra Firma equity group that paid £3.2 billion to take EMI private in July 2007 – has been left, well, empty handed.

A report in the Guardian said Hands "can’t get no satisfaction" as acts queue to leave, but – after only a year – it seems he might not mind too much.

When he borrowed £2.5 billion from Citigroup, which he needs to start re-paying this month, and bought EMI he said he calculated the company’s publishing rights to be worth 80 percent of the asking price.

In the last two decades EMI Music Publishing has out-performed the market and Hands clearly sees the equity value of owning or managing 1.3 million copyrights.

Despite the mass exodus of most of EMI’s old hierarchy in a clear-out that’s already cost between 1,500 and 2,000 jobs, head of music publishing Roger Faxon is about the only "name" exec to escape the purge.

The news of the Stones’ departure came on Mick Jagger’s 65th birthday, and it’s questionable how many sales – either from new records or the post-1971 albums that are part of the UMG deal – the next decade will bring.