Sony To Acquire Additional Stake in EMI Publishing; Will Own 90% After $2.3B Deal

Sony / EMI
AP Photo / Eugene Hoshiko
– Sony / EMI
Sony Corp. CEO Kenichiro Yoshida speaks at a press conference at the company

Sony Corp. said it plans to spend $2.3 billion to acquire an additional stake in EMI Music Publishing, home to the Motown catalog as well as those of Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams and many others.
Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said streaming services has led to a “resurgence” in the music business.
“We are thrilled to bring EMI Music Publishing into the Sony family and maintain our number one position in the music publishing industry,” he said.
“In the entertainment space, we are focusing on building a strong IP [intellectual property] portfolio, and I believe this acquisition will be a particularly significant milestone for our long-term growth.”
Sony already owns 30 percent of EMI, meaning it will own 90 percent of the company after the purchase of UAE government-backed Mubadala Investment Co.’s 60 percent stake.  Variety reports that Warner Music Group and others were hot to get a piece of the EMI publishing catalog. 
Other Mubadala holdings include semiconductor maker Globalfoundries and stakes in General Electric Co., Washington-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group and numerous utility and energy companies.
Yoshida said in a news conference at Sony’s headquarters that the initiative to beef up Sony’s content was also behind a deal announced earlier this month to acquire a stake in Peanuts Holdings, the company behind Snoopy and Charlie Brown.
But Yoshida stopped short of giving numbers for profit goals, saying he was presenting a long-term vision rooted in Sony’s founding and ongoing philosophy of emotionally inspiring people.
Sony, founded in 1946, has sunk into the red in recent years. The Japanese electronics giant has struggled to adjust to the digital age and was hammered by competition from Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and other nimbler rivals.
Sony has sold off chunks of its business, including its Vaio personal-computer unit, to turn itself around. Its cellphone operations are still losing money, but the executives promised that will change soon.
EMI Music Publishing officially formed in 1974 as part of UK-based EMI Records, once considered the fourth major label and was in 2013 renamed Parlophone Records, now part of Universal Music Group.
The publishing unit is still partially owned by the Michael Jackson estate after Sony/ATV acquired 30 percent of EMI Publishing in 2012.