Sony/ATV Become Publishing Leaders As EMI Deal Goes Through

30 June 2012 | 4:36 pm | Scott Fitzsimons

Sony/ATV now have a publishing division over two million songs strong.

The Sony/ATV-led consortium which bought EMI Music Publishing for $2.2 billion dollars finalised the deal on Friday, creating a new global market leader in music publishing in the process.

Sony picked up the division in the dramatic split and sale of cash-strapped major label EMI Music that saw Universal Music Group pick up the recorded music division for $1.9 billion. Both deals were subject to anti-trust regulations. While Universal are still waiting for clearance from both Europe and the United States, Sony got the green light mid-April in what was a surprisingly quick decision by the European Commission.

In reporting that the deal has been closed, the New York Times report that Sony will control the 750,000 tracks included in Sony/ATV roster and 1.3 million from EMI. With 251 songs from The Beatles, Motown hits, classics like Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and many contemporary tracks from the likes of Kanye West. The global market share will be 31 percent, nine points above Universal's.

One of the EMI sale's main sub-plots was the battle between Sony'ATV's chairman Martin Bandier and former Warner Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr, who both sought EMI's publishing arm. Bronfman Jr had been after EMI for a number of years, and reportedly stayed on after Warner's purchase by Len Blavatnik's Access Industries solely to achieve the goal, but it is instead Bandier who will achieve a long-term goal. Bandier led the publishing arm for 18 years before being forced out in 2007 and will be pleased to have control of the stable he built once again.

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He plans to merge the catalogues into one company. "At end of the day we are going to be one homogeneous company with one person - myself - running it,” that paper quotes Bandier.

Sony President and Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said in a statement, “Music publishing, along with the rest of our entertainment companies, has been a bright spot in our business portfolio, and we expect that trend to continue with this important acquisition."

The relatively stable income of music publishing has been a highlight for the company's losses - which are in the billions - across the electronic sectors as well as music.

Staff will now be eager to learn if planned job cuts will eventuate at the new publishing giant.