Troubled EMI in Talks to License Its Back Catalogue to Rival Labels

Troubled EMI in Talks to License Its Back Catalogue to Rival Labels
The latest piece of news in EMI's much-publicized struggle against corporate takeover is perhaps the most ominous development yet.

According to various sources, EMI is currently in talks to license its back catalogue to competing labels. This means that the rights to artists such as the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen and Coldplay could soon belong to another record company. In other words, this is like that point near to the end of a Monopoly game when you start mortgaging all of your properties to keep from going bankrupt. (And as we all know, that never works.)

As the Wall Street Journal reports, EMI believes that such a deal could fetch the label as much as $150 million per year. This could be enough to keep the label afloat, at least for the time being. The company is currently in danger of being taken over by Citigroup, who lent Terra Firma (EMI's parent group) the money to buy the label back in 2007.

According to UK newspaper the Times, talks began with Universal a few weeks ago, while Sony and Warner more recently joined the discussions.

Even if these talks are successful and EMI manages to stave off the repo men for another few months, the label will need to turn its luck around to survive in the long run. Billboard reports that Terra Firma's is currently in debt for nearly $4 billion.