Blue Note changes “Hands”, again

Breaking news:

UK music firm EMI today announced it will sell its recorded music unit for £1.2bn  ($1.9bn) to Universal Music. Universal Music is a unit of Vivendi, the French media company. EMI’s labels include Blue Note, Capitol, Parlophone and Virgin Records.

“Universal Music Group is committed to both preserving EMI’s cultural heritage and artistic diversity and also investing in its artists and people to grow the company’s assets for the future.” says Vivendi’s Chief Executive.

Hedge Fund Terra Firma run by Guy Hands (below) bought EMI at the peak of the market for a whopping $4bn, and looks like having turned in a $2bn loss for its investors.

Guy Hands, last seen escaping in a yellow submarine

It failed in its suit against its financial advisors Citicorp for bad advice. Looks bad advice from where I stand. Hands was quoted the other day as saying “the days of speculation and quick returns must end”. Sounds like hindsight to me.

9 thoughts on “Blue Note changes “Hands”, again

  1. I have been following this whole thing for quite a while and I’ve read some seriously worrying articles as well, ’cause there was much more to it than a lot of people knew. Just read THIS, THIS and THIS post; it’ll shed some new light on what was going on there. Private equity firm Terra Firma, Citigroup, all those names were involved and many of the writers in the blog world have expressed serious worries about the EMI vaults. Storing tapes costs money. Allow me to copy and paste one of the quotes that I read: “There’s a strong possibility that if the company is stripped of assets, whoever ends up with the old reels of tape is just as likely to bin or burn those that are not potential sources of revenue. For a commercial investor, a tape in a vault represents little more than just costs. And for the vast majority of what’s in there, these are the only decent copies in existence.” -One more interesting read on this EMI thing is THIS article, written before the die was cast. Folks, these are must reads. And again: there’s so much more to it.

    • Apologies Matty, some really important issues you raise about the EMI vaults. (My Blog filter Askimet incorrectly tagged your post as spam, which I have corrected and post approved)

      Guy Hands is a Vulture Capitalist – feeds on carcasses. The only thing that pleases me is his fund lost $2bn on the deal.

      I don’t understand where the Blue Note Music Group sits in all this and who owns the Blue Note original tapes. EMI as I understand owned Capitol, which in turn owned Blue Note.

      All I know is I wouldn’t have any confidence in money men with their hands on these precious assets. First I’d want to know what’s on the CD player in their car. Probably Rhianna and Kanye West, or may be Dire Straits.

        • A narrow escape then!
          As usual, the seller made no mention of the ear – a dead giveaway. I checked the EMI sellers history. Seems they deal mainly in rock and pop, lots of Beatles – several hundred million copies sold – but only the occasional Blue Note. Probably don’t know much about music.

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