MediaFile

Today in Music: BMG keeps rebuilding publishing empire with Fuji deal

Bertelsmann’s BMG Music Rights has continued to expand by agreeing to a deal to manage the song catalogs of Fuji John Lee HookerEntertainment America’s ARC Music, Six Palms Music and Third Story catalogs in a worldwide deal everywhere outside of Japan and South East Asia.

While this isn’t quite as committed a deal as buying a company’s catalog,  it’s still an important way to continue to gain influence and power in the music publishing business. The German media company returned to  music publishing in 2007  after a brief absence following the sale of  its song publishing company to Universal Music Group  in 2006.

Since being founded, BMG Music Rights has built up its catalog to more than 200,000 songs and recordings following acquisitions of catalogs like Crosstown Songs, Cherry Lane Music Publishing and Stage Three Music.

The joint venture company (between Bertelsmann and private equity firm KKR) is now seen as the likely buyer of EMI’s rich catalog of songs whenever, if ever, its owner Terra Firma finally puts EMI’s assets on the block.

ARC Music’s catalog includes works by blues and rock ‘n’ roll legends like Chuck Berry (“Johnny B. Goode”), Bo Diddley “Who Do You Love”, Howlin’ Wolf (“Smokestack Lightning”) and John Lee Hooker (“Boom Boom”), pictured left.

Today in Music: EMI to be put out of its Terra Firma misery soon?

ColdplayWe’re all a little tired of writing about the imminent demise of EMI, home to the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Coldplay and Robbie Williams,  simply because it hasn’t happened in all  the years of writing it.

Well, the storied British music company might disappear in March if its private equity owner Terra Firma trips an upcoming debt covenant test. Even before that happens the UK’s Observer paper says EMI could be “within weeks”of being owned by Citigroup, to whom Terra Firma owes a truck load of cash with which it used to buy EMI in 2007. It says Terra Firma founder Guy Hands is exploring an option to exit before the March deadline.

And in a sign of Terra Firma’s increasing desperation as the debt deadline nears it appealed a US court decision that dashed its hopes for compensation from Citigroup as my colleague Simon Meads writes here from London. Terra Firma had tried to claim late in 2009 that Citigroup duped it into overpaying for EMI.

from DealZone:

KKR’s imagination

Nobody can question Eastman Kodak's intention in raising some $700 million. Getting a commitment from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to buy up to $400 million of its debt is also a perfectly logical step for the old-economy stalwart as it lumbers into the digital age. What KKR is thinking is another matter.

KKR says the investment reflects its belief in Kodak's strategy. They're also getting warrants in Kodak to purchase up to 53 million shares of its common stock. The Wall Street Journal says KKR could end up owning close to 20 percent of the company.

The 24/7 Wall St blog notes that the fall in Kodak's share price following the news shows the market isn't blindly convinced of KKR's intelligence. But Kodak's bonds got a boost, if for no other reason than there's a buyer out there.