British music group EMI launches strategic review

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British music label EMI, home to The Beatles and Coldplay, on Monday launched a strategic review which could result in its sale or a stock market launch.

The announcement comes five months after US banking giant Citigroup seized control of EMI's recording and publishing divisions from its previous private equity owners.

EMI said in a statement on Monday that "the board of directors of its holding company, EMI Group Global Ltd, has initiated a process to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, recapitalisation or initial public offering of the company."

It added: "In making the announcement, EMI stated that there can be no assurance that this strategic review process will result in a transaction."

EMI, whose roster of artists also include Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Norah Jones and Robbie Williams, was bought by private equity firm Terra Firma for £4.2 billion in 2007, shortly before the start of the global financial crisis.

Terra Firma's boss, British billionaire Guy Hands, helped finance the purchase with an enormous Citigroup loan of about £2.6 billion.

Despite the rapid growth of legal music downloading, the global music industry is still struggling to combat Internet music piracy and plunging CD sales.

© 2011 AFP

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