EMI Update: Sony Talking, Predators Circling
Exactly what's going on at EMI varies by one's sources, but clearly the company is in a messy struggle for its survival. As of last Wednesday, EMI has just 90 days to raise $183 million to make an overdue loan payment and present a viable plan fir its future to creditor Citi.
Now that talks to license EMI's catalog with Universal have broken off, Sony is said to be back at the table. Formal negotiations between Sony's finance director Kevin Kelleher and EMI's executive chairman Charles Allen could begin in May, if advisers can agree on an outline agreement over the next few weeks.
Terra Firma Postures, WMG Readies A Bid -
Failing that, current owner Terra Firma is putting on a brave face and hinting that they won't let the label group be taken over by Citi or some group of investment bottom feeders. But Citi may see things differently and could declare EMI too risky to leave alone even if a payment is made. Should that happen, Warner Music Group and private equity giant KKR are in talks to make a joint bid.
As this drama plays out behind closed doors, EMI employees and artists sit in limbo, frustrated that even as their efforts at a turnaround seem to be working, their company's crushing debt may prove too heavy a load to carry.