Universal Music has confirmed that it has agreed a deal with Citigroup to buy EMI for £1.2 billion.
It had been presumed that Warner Music would take over the ailing British label that is home to the likes of Katy Perry and The Beatles, but pulled out of the running, leaving Universal free to engineer a deal.
Citigroup took over EMI - whose other labels include Blue Note, Capitol, Parlophone and Virgin Records - in February, after Guy Hands's Terra Firma private equity group could no longer supports its debts and failed a solvency test.
EMI Group chairman Stephen Volk, who is also vice chairman of Citigroup, said in a statement: "We believe that this transaction accomplishes Citi's objective of maximising the value of EMI, giving EMI Music a partner in Universal Music that appreciates EMI's rich cultural legacy, its incredible stable of musical talent, and its employees who work so hard to deliver successful outcomes for the artists they represent."
Universal boss Lucian Grange said of the deal: "For me, as an Englishman, EMI was the preeminent music company that I grew up with. Its artists and their music provided the soundtrack to my teenage years. Therefore, UMG 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.
"As a result, we will be better positioned to fully capitalize on the many new and exciting opportunities in the current marketplace, and also able to better serve our artists, songwriters and business partners, while offering fans even more choice."
Having lost control of the label it had acquired in 2007, Terra Firma had attempted to take Citigroup to court in the US over the price it had paid for EMI, but ultimately lost out in the case.
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