THORN EMI ACQUIRES VIRGIN MUSIC GROUP; EMI MUSIC NOW THE PREMIER MUSIC COMPANY IN THE WORLD
THORN EMI ACQUIRES VIRGIN MUSIC GROUP;
EMI MUSIC NOW THE PREMIER MUSIC COMPANY IN THE WORLD
NEW YORK, March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- THORN EMI today announced an agreement to acquire Virgin Music Group, the world's largest independent music company. THORN EMI will pay 510 million pounds in cash and repay debt of up to 50 million pounds.
The combined businesses of EMI Music and Virgin Music will form the world's premier music group. EMI Music has reached this position through internal growth and selected acquisitions, driven by creative freedom and sound business disciplines. The artistic independence of Virgin Music will be maintained and encouraged within the EMI family. Their integration will provide substantial opportunities to improve profitability through the use of EMI Music's worldwide marketing, manufacturing and distribution network as well as increased operating efficiencies.
Virgin Music Group was started in 1972 and consists of Recorded Music, Music Publishing and Studios. The artist roster in recorded music boasts such international stars as Paula Abdul, Neneh Cherry, Gary Moore, Simple Minds, UB40, Steve Winwood (worldwide), Belinda Carlisle, Bryan Ferry, Peter Gabriel, Genesis (worldwide outside North America) and Phil Collins in the United Kingdom and Eire. Recently, Virgin has entered into agreements with Janet Jackson and the Rolling Stones. Virgin Music Publishing Co. operates in 15 territories with the rights to more than 25,000 songs. Songwriters include Cole and Clivilles (C&C Music Factory), Fine Young Cannibals, Lenny Kravitz, Nirvana, The Pet Shop Boys and Tears for Fears.
Commenting on the acquisition, Jim Fifield, chief executive officer and president of EMI Music, stated, "I'm very excited about combining Virgin Music Group with EMI Music. Not only does this move us into a co-leadership position in the recorded music industry but it also provides us with significant profit improvement opportunities; gives us access to a very strong artists roster and catalogue; and strengthens our position in Music Publishing. Most importantly, they have a strong management team, led by Ken Berry, which will allow the company to integrate well with EMI."
Richard Branson commented, "We have recently received several proposals to merge or acquire Virgin Music, and I am delighted that we have managed to reach an agreement with a British company, Thorn EMI. Over the last 20 years the Virgin team has built up the best and largest independent music group. We now plan to continue to grow into one of the finest labels in the world. Apart from continued involvement with the music group, this deal will allow me to concentrate more time and energy on our other businesses, including my new love, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and its sister companies within Voyager Travel Holdings."
EMI Music has shown dramatic improvement in recent years in both chart success and profitability. In the United States, EMI Music has five of the top six selling albums so far in the 90s with two Garth Brooks albums, Hammer, Wilson Phillips and Vanilla Ice. The increased sales volumes, coupled with significant productivity gains and the acquisitions of SBK Publishing and Records, Chrysalis Records and Filmtrax have increased EMI profits from 2.1 million pounds in 1986 to 109 million pounds in the year ended March 31, 1991.
/CONTACT: Susan Blond or Yon Elvira of Susan Blond Inc., 212-333-7728, for EMI Music/ CO: THORN EMI; Virgin Music Group ST: New York IN: ENT SU: TNM ::END JL -- NYON1 -- 5710 03/06/92 04:24 EST