Music group EMI in dire straits
Struggling music group EMI faces being taken over by its bankers after failing to clinch a deal to sell the North American distribution rights for its artists to Universal Music Group or Sony Music.
EMI, which has the Beatles, Coldplay, Lily Allen and Pink Floyd on its books, had hoped to raise around £200 million by offering its rivals a five-year licensing contract.
A source close to both sets of talks, who requested anonymity because the discussions were private, said that they fell apart after a failure to agree on price. EMI declined to comment.
The collapse of talks leaves EMI battling to raise £120 million by mid-June to meet its commitments on loans from US bank Citigroup.
If funds can't be raised from investors and the loan goes into default, Citigroup could seize EMI and cause it to be sold or broken up.
EMI has been struggling to stay afloat since it was bought by private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners for £4.2 billion on the eve of the credit crunch in 2007, saddling the company with debt.
Several big-name acts, including Radiohead and the Rolling Stones, quit the label amid the cutbacks and restructuring that followed.