Universal To Sell Virgin Records In EMI Trade-Off

16 July 2012 | 2:09 pm | Scott Fitzsimons

The sale may be necessary to get clearence for their acquisition of EMI

Universal Music Group are reportedly planning to sell Virign Records to sweeten their planned acquisition of EMI Music's recorded music division.

The news comes from the Financial Times, who also speculate that Parlophone could be a possible offload for Universal.

Universal have agreed to buy EMI and combined they will have about 40 percent market share in US and Europe, prompting concerns from anti-trust regulators on both continents.

Virgin Records, owned by EMI and famously founded by billionaire Sir Richard Branson in 1972 before being sold for £600m in 1992, is big enough that it could help Universal ease regulators' concerns, particularly the European Commission's.

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Once home to The Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, Devo and others, Virgin's roster currently includes Gorillaz, K.T. Tuntsall and 30 Seconds To Mars.