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Deal set to make Sony world's largest music publisher

| Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 11:36 p.m.
David Bowie performs on May 17, 2004, for a sold-old audience at the Benedum in Pittsburgh. Works by the late rock legend are included in the EMI Music Publishing catalog Sony Corp. would control after a planned cash purchase of shares held by others.
JC Schisler | Tribune-Review
David Bowie performs on May 17, 2004, for a sold-old audience at the Benedum in Pittsburgh. Works by the late rock legend are included in the EMI Music Publishing catalog Sony Corp. would control after a planned cash purchase of shares held by others.

Sony is poised to become the world's largest music publisher with an agreement announced this week to pay $2.3 billion in cash for a majority share of EMI Music Publishing.

As reported by CNN, the deal would boost Sony's position from minority stakeholder to owning about 90 percent of EMI — whose catalog exceeds 2 million songs, ranging from “Over the Rainbow” to Pharrell Williams' “Happy.”

Works by artists Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Frank Sinatra and David Bowie also are included and would increase Sony's combined song library to about 4.5 million titles. Reuters reports that would bring Sony's share of the market to 26 percent, as cited by a company spokesman.

The deal values EMI Music Publishing at $4.75 billion, including debt — with revenue of $663 million for the year that ended in March, The New York Times reported.

The EMI publishing catalog was valued at $2.2 billion in 2011, when it was purchased by Sony and other investors — chiefly the Mubadala Investment Company, a wealth fund of the government of Abu Dhabi.

Once Sony buys out those partners, it will own all but about 10 percent of the EMI publishing rights, which are held by the estate of Michael Jackson.

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