LONDON: Sony says it has agreed to buy a controlling stake in EMI Music Publishing for $2.3bn (£1.71bn) as it looks to boost its music portfolio.
The deal would mean Sony would indirectly own about 90% of the firm and its some two million songs by artists from Queen and Carole King to Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams.
Sony said it was thrilled with the deal, which is subject to approval.
The announcement comes as Sony prepares to unveil its mid-term plan on Tuesday.
EMI, which has its headquarters in London, is currently owned by a consortium led by Sony. It is one of the world’s biggest music publishing firms. Sony already owns 2.3 million music copyrights, including the Beatles catalogue.
The Japanese tech giant’s deal, announced on Tuesday with the Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Mubadala, will mean EMI will become a consolidated subsidiary of Sony.
Mubadala’s private equity arm has controlled and managed EMI Music Publishing on behalf of Mubadala and other third-party investors since 2012, Sony said on Tuesday. Before that, EMI was owned by Citigroup.
“We are thrilled to bring EMI Music Publishing into the Sony family and maintain our number one position in the music publishing industry,” Sony’s president and chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida said on Tuesday.
Yoshida said the music business had enjoyed a resurgence over the past couple of years, driven largely by the rise of paid subscription-based streaming services, reports BBC.
Later on Tuesday Sony is expected to unveil a three-year plan to move away from making any more gadgets and towards a bigger focus on gaming subscriptions and entertainment.