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EMI owner on course for cash boost

After months of speculation, the new £105m investment from shareholder Terra Firma will allow the business to maintain compliance with its banking covenants, and therefore prevent it from being seized by principal lender Citigroup.

EMI parent company Maltby Investments (MIL) has received confirmation from shareholder Terra Firma that it intends to invest additional sums in EMI to enable the business to maintain compliance with its banking covenants.

Charles Allen, executive chairman of EMI Music, commented: “We are very pleased to have received this confirmation of an additional investment, which is a vote of confidence in EMI from Terra Firma and its investors, following the significant improvement in the company’s operating performance.”

The cash injection – expected to be in the region of £105m – paves the way for Terra Firma CEO Guy Hands to institute a recovery plan and begin to address the £2.6 billion that is owed to Citigroup.

Many observers predict significant cutbacks, and indeed it has already been announced that EMI Music Publishing Netherlands is to close its offices in that country by the end of June. According to PSNE sister title Music Week, a total of 14 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the closure. The Belgian arm of the company will also close, with the loss of four more staff. Meanwhile, EMI Music Publishing has anounced its intention to cut a number of senior executive positions across Europe.

Artistically, the outlook for the company remains troubled, with unconfirmed reports that another of EMI’s biggest earners – Queen – is set to leave the label for Universal. In 2009, it was reported that the band’s total worldwide album sales stood at more than 300 million, powered by a peak commercial period that spanned 1974’s Sheer Heart Attack and 1986’s A Kind of Magic.

Having expressed his concern at the direction of EMI – his label home for nearly 50 years – Paul McCartney recently announced a deal that will see his solo catalogue distributed by independent group Concord Music.