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EMI MUSIC ACQUIRES THE SPARROW CORPORATION

 EMI MUSIC ACQUIRES THE SPARROW CORPORATION
 NEW YORK, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- EMI Music announced that it has


agreed to acquire The Sparrow Corporation, the world's largest independent Christian music company. The joint announcement was made by Jim Fifield, CEO and president of EMI Music, Billy Ray Hearn, chairman and CEO of The Sparrow Corporation, and Jimmy Bowen, president of Liberty Records. In addition to his responsibilities at Liberty, Bowen will serve as co-chairman of Sparrow with Hearn, who also continues as Sparrow's CEO.
 Sparrow was founded in 1976 by Hearn as a contemporary Christian music record label. Under Hearn's leadership, Sparrow has diversified into music publishing, film and video production, book publishing and distribution, in addition to its highly successful recording label. Sales in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1992 were in excess of $30 million.
 Sparrow artists include Steven Curtis Chapman, Steve Green, BeBe & CeCe Winans, Michael Card, Debby Boone, Margaret Becker, Sandra Crouch, Tramaine Hawkins and Susan Ashton, among others. Distributed labels include Warner Alliance, Integrity Music, and Selah Records.
 Fifield noted, "The acquisition of Sparrow gives EMI immediate leadership in Christian music among the major record companies. Sparrow is already one of the largest, most successful, and most highly respected companies producing Christian music. The integration will provide substantial expansion opportunities through EMI's worldwide marketing, manufacturing and distribution network."
 Hearn welcomed the agreement and said, "Sparrow views its acquisition by EMI Music as an opportunity to further its mission to promote the Gospel to the world through music."
 Bowen noted, "Contemporary Christian music is going to move into the mainstream marketplace worldwide. Working in tandem with the finest Christian record company in the world, Sparrow, we will launch a broad based marketing campaign to expand the presence of Christian recordings in mainstream retail outlets." The move supports Bowen's long-term belief that Nashville is becoming a major player in all musical genres on a worldwide basis.
 Fifield stressed Sparrow will maintain creative control over its roster of Christian artists and will continue to operate its own distribution network which serves Christian bookstores and other outlets on an international basis.
 Bill Hearn, president of Sparrow's music division, stated, "Sparrow's commitment to Christian retail marketing and distribution will remain our central focus. Working with EMI Music will provide additional resources for continued growth and innovation in this area."
 EMI Music is one of the world's premier music groups, generating annual sales in excess of $2 billion. The company is a leader in recorded music, with operations in 37 countries. Vertically integrated and highly efficient manufacturing, distribution and studio facilities support the worldwide recorded music business. EMI Music is also the international leader in music publishing, with operations in 22 countries.
 -0- 9/29/92
 /CONTACT: Yon Elvira of Susan Blond, 212-333-7728, for EMI Music, or Cathy Gurley of Gurley & Assoc., 615-329-0022, for Liberty, or Brian Smith for Sparrow, 615-371-6859/ CO: EMI Music; Sparrow Corporation ST: New York, Tennessee IN: ENT SU: TNM


TM-KW -- NY087 -- 4600 09/29/92 18:23 EDT
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Date:Sep 29, 1992
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