UK News ALEX BRUMMER: Record label changes tune for Universal and EMI

02:40  15 september  2021
02:40  15 september  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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And EMI Records have been made a sub- label under Universal Japan and SNSD and J-min among other artists have been moved to that sub- label . SNSD is still technically under UMJ but under a different UMJ sub- label now which is EMI instead of Nayutawave and they've been labelmates with shinee since a couple years ago starting when EMI (the company that shinee is under) was bought by UMJ.

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One of the most shameful private equity episodes was the £3billion-plus purchase of Britain’s emblematic music producer and distributor EMI by Guy Hands’ Terra Firma in 2007.

His reasons for the deal were sensible enough. Hands saw a great British asset, the owner of music ranging from Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory to the Rolling Stones, wasting away under assault from piracy and digital music and without a clear strategic direction.

The timing was terrible. On the eve of the great financial crisis, and with debt hanging around the neck of EMI, it became too burdensome for Terra Firma to handle. After a bitter legal dispute EMI fell into the hands of Citigroup.

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Universal Music, run by the British music entrepreneur Sir Lucian Grainge, persuaded owner Vivendi it was the opportunity of a lifetime and so it has proved.

After a decade in the hands of Universal it has scrubbed up well and the whole shebang is coming back to the public markets with a valuation of £28billion.

Unfortunately, the initial public offering will take place in Amsterdam not London so EMI isn’t exactly coming home.

But the complexities of its ownership, with French tycoon Vincent Bollore in the driving seat, almost certainly played a role in the Dutch launch.

Ahead of the free-float Vivendi has been busy selling strategic stakes in Universal. A group led by Chinese tech investor Tencent snatched 20 per cent. And controversial US billionaire Bill Ackman acquired 10 per cent.

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Britain must be prepared for some very unsettling times ahead that could yet have a disastrous effect on the economy the Government has worked so hard to repair, writes ALEX BRUMMER . By Alex Brummer , City Editor For The Daily Mail. Published: 00:01 BST, 6 July 2015 | Updated: 05:01 BST, 6 July 2015.

All of this makes for an eclectic share register. As for Bollore himself, he will still control some £5.1billion or so of stock in Universal. Grainge is also in line for a huge payday.

Putting to one side the financial shenanigans surrounding all of this, the positive outcome is that Universal and the remains of EMI have been released from captivity.

In the intervening period the challenges from piracy and illegal downloads have sorted themselves out and authorised streaming is a huge moneyspinner.

Indeed, a whole new separate industry has grown up around ownership of songbooks, with the UK’s Hipgnosis among the key players.

Universal, with its array of stars including Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, has the heft to ensure proper distribution and make sure royalties end up in the right hands.

They are counting on you Sir Lucian.

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People have been asking me how to start your own record label for a while now so I had to answer it.

The proposed merger between Universal Music Group and EMI Group, two of the “big four” record companies, is really happening. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced this morning it had unanimously approved Vivendi-owned Universal ’s .9 billion offer to buy the recorded music arm Universal told the Journal the E.U.’s approval “will benefit the artistic community and music industry” and that Universal is glad it will hold onto more than two-thirds of EMI ’s global business. But IMPALA, a trade group representing European independent record labels , protested that the required sell-offs

JD Sports, where the Rubin family vehicle Pentland dominates the share register with a 55 per cent stake, is a huge beneficiary of this trend.

The company’s latest forecast of doubled profits to £750million in the financial year to January 29 sent the shares soaring. At almost £12billion it is now the most valuable standalone retailer in the FTSE 100.

Remarkably for a UK retailer it is doing well in the US, in a market which has been a bed of nails for British retail in the past.

Success must be attributed to the gruff management style of executive chairman Peter Cowgill. At a time when corporate Britain is under huge pressure to improve its governance JD Sports takes little notice.

It was remuneration committee boss Andrew Leslie who took the punishment for Cowgill’s £4.3million bonus, rather than the boss himself.

JD Sports is seen by landlords as one of the least co-operative firms when it came to settling outstanding rents during the pandemic.

In spite of its financial strength it is still declining to refund the taxpayer the business rates suspended in the pandemic.

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Blue chip

Ken Costa is one of the wisest and more moral voices in British finance.

His assertion in the Financial Times that smart-chip maker Arm should remain in UK hands because of its value to the UK tech ecosystem and national security must be listened to.

On the table at present is a £30billion bid from US chip maker Nvidia, which would undermine Arm’s role as a neutral supplier.

The deal is being scrutinised by competition authorities across the globe.

Refloating Arm in London would reinforce its independence and enhance the City’s reputation for supporting brilliant tech.

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