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EMI Group Launches Joint Record Company

MEXICO CITY (AP) — London-based music company EMI Group PLC and Mexico's Grupo Televisa said Tuesday they will form a new joint venture record company in Mexico and a U.S. partnership that will give Televisa greater access to the U.S. market.

The new record company, Televisa EMI Music will be formed Sept. 1 to develop and market music from Televisa's popular soap operas, including Rebelde and Complices al Rescate. Both shows feature young stars who have launched successful singing careers.

Televisa EMI Music also will produce compilation albums and develop new recording artists in Mexico, a market valued at $360 million in 2004, up 9 percent from the previous year.

Capitalizing on the growing U.S. market, Televisa said it will partner with the existing Miami-based EMI Music U.S. Latin operations, renaming it EMI Televisa Music. Its artists include Thalia, Intocable, and AB Quintanilla & Kumbia Kings.

Both ventures will be headed by Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, who is currently director of Televisa Music.

"By partnering with the largest media company in the Latin market, we will further develop our already strong artist base, drive growth and generate significant new revenue streams in our Latin American and U.S. Latin businesses," said EMI Music chairman and chief executive Alain Levy.

Grupo Televisa's chairman, Emilio Azcarraga Jean, also praised the new ventures.

"Televisa is delighted to re-enter the music business through this partnership with EMI, one of the biggest record companies in the world," he said. "This partnership fits with Televisa's strategy to look for new opportunities in the U.S. Latin market and will enrich Televisa's sources for content while leveraging its different media platforms."

The music market in Latin America, valued at $903 million in 2004, is coming off two consecutive years of growth, with the trend expected to continue this year.

Latin music shipments to U.S. retailers increased by more than 25 percent to 48.5 million units in 2004, compared to 38.6 million in 2003.