EMI sold to Universal, Sony/ATV for $4.1 billion

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? EMI Group Ltd., home of The Beatles and Coldplay, has been sold in two parts for $4.1 billion.

Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group said Friday that it has agreed to buy the recording division of EMI for 1.2 billion pounds ($1.9 billion).

The second part, the publishing division in charge of songwriting copyrights, was sold to Sony/ATV, for $2.2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The deal leaves Citigroup, EMI’s owner, with liability for a pension plan worth about $600 million, a second person said.

Both people were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Citigroup had put the iconic British music company up for sale after foreclosing on private equity firm Terra Firma in February.

Terra Firma bought EMI in 2007 in a 4.2 billion-pound ($6.8 billion) acquisition financed with debt from U.S. bank Citigroup, but it couldn’t make enough money to keep up with the terms of its debt.