BMG Rights Eyes EMI's Catalogs

LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — BMG Rights Management, a division of Bertelsmann AG, is reportedly eyeing EMI's song catalogs for possible acquisition.

According to a report in Bloomberg, BMG, flush with capital from private equity investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Group, is looking at spending as much as $360 million on song rights in the next 18 months.

"We think the time is right now for acquisitions and there will be tremendous opportunities," BMG Rights Chief Executive Officer Hartwig Masuch told Bloomberg. "We’ll hopefully become one of the major players in music rights and publishing and we’ll expand into managing master rights as well.

EMI, like other major label groups have been struggling in recent years with declining CD sales and high overhead in fixed costs and salaries. Private Equity shop Terra Firma, which acquired EMI in 2007 wrote of $1.7 billion of its initial investment earlier this year and just approved a 492 million dollar infusion of capital for the label group last month.

EMI, one of the 'big four', features a deep catalog of artists, including Coldplay, R.E.M. and the Beatles but has shed some key artists in recent years including Radiohead, The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers