Vivendi's Universal sells Parlophone to Warner

PARIS Thu Feb 7, 2013 11:21pm IST

The headquarters of Warner Music Group is pictured in Burbank, California August 5, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files

The headquarters of Warner Music Group is pictured in Burbank, California August 5, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser/Files

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PARIS (Reuters) - Vivendi's(VIV.PA) Universal Music Group (UMG) has agreed to sell one of EMI's most prized assets, the Parlophone Label Group, to Warner Music for 487 million pounds in cash, parent Vivendi said on Thursday.

Universal, the world's largest recorded music company, had to sell Parlophone, whose artists include Coldplay, Daft Punk and the Pet Shop Boys, to satisfy EU regulators' concerns about its $1.9 billion purchase of EMI's recorded music business.

Separately, Warner Music, which is owned by privately held Access Industries Inc, said it had obtained commitments to finance the transaction through a new loan provided through Credit Suisse, Barclays, UBS, Macquarie and Nomura.

The Parlophone deal is expected to close mid-2013.

The Parlophone Label Group includes EMI's oldest label Parlophone and the Chrysalis and Ensign Labels as well as EMI's recorded music operations in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Sweden.

LionTree Advisors was exclusive financial adviser to Warner Music Group, while Olswang LLP and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as legal counsel.

Universal Music Group had Goldman Sachs Group and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as financial advisers, and Shearman & Sterling LLP and SJ Berwin as legal advisers.

LionTree, a boutique advisory and investment business launched last year by former senior UBS bankers Aryeh Bourkoff and Ehren Stenzler, also advised Liberty Global on its $15.75 billion cash and stock acquisition of Virgin Media.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, additional reporting by Soyoung Kim in New York, Editing by Christian Plumb)

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