EMI Group PLC
5 October 2000
EMI and Time Warner withdraw current EC clearance application
London 5th October 2000
EMI Group and Time Warner have today informed the European
Commission's Merger Task Force that they are withdrawing their current
application for approval of the proposed combination of EMI Music
with Warner Music Group.
EMI and Time Warner have been in negotiations with the
Commission, discussing a range of possible concessions aimed at
responding to the Commission's concerns while preserving the
economic merits of their proposed joint venture.
EMI and Time Warner have, as of today, terminated their current
agreement. However, they have agreed to continue discussions
with each other, the Commission and other regulators in order to
attempt to achieve a combination which is acceptable to all
parties. Any resulting new agreement will be subject to EMI
Group shareholder approval.
Eric Nicoli, Chairman of EMI Group said: 'The withdrawal of our
application allows additional time to reassess regulators'
concerns and to pursue solutions simultaneously in Europe and the
US. We have been, and will continue to be, flexible in
responding to the European Commission's concerns. However any
concessions that are ultimately made must be consistent with our
shareholder value objectives'.
'We continue to believe that a joint venture with Warner Music
Group can create substantial value for our shareholders and
benefit our artists, consumers and employees by bringing together
two companies with complementary strengths. It provides the
opportunity to generate considerable cost savings and to build a
unique, Anglo-American owned music company'.
'In the meantime, our business is in good shape and we will
continue to drive it forward. Notwithstanding the uncertainty
caused by the regulatory process, we have maintained momentum in
both our recorded music and music publishing businesses and we
have our strongest release schedule for many years.'
Time Warner President, Richard Parsons, said: 'Our proposed joint
venture with EMI would bring together two of the most creative, and
complementary, organisations in the world-wide music industry.
Because of our confidence in this combination's potential to
deliver extraordinary dividends to our artists, employees,
shareholders and music lovers around the world, we will continue
to explore ways to structure a combination that will make sense
for the two companies and be acceptable to the Commission.'
A further announcement will be made in due course.
Contact: Amanda Conroy, EMI London (44) 20 7667 3216
Dawn Bridges, EMI New York (212) 492 1275