EMI Explores its Options

(Reuters) – British music company EMI, owned by Citigroup, said on Monday it had launched a strategic review to examine options including a possible sale, recapitalization or initial public offering.

The group, home to artists such as Katy Perry and Iron Maiden, said in a statement that there was no certainty that the process would result in a transaction.

It said it would not disclose further developments until its board had approved a strategic plan.

Citigroup took control of EMI in February in a blow to its previous private equity owner, Terra Firma, which had fought a long battle to keep hold of the company.

The label had been suffocating under a burden of debt borrowed from the U.S. bank in a 2007 leveraged buyout by Guy Hands’ Terra Firma.

The strategic review comes on the heels of the Warner Music sale that fetched $3.3 billion for private equity backers TH Lee, Bain Capital and Providence Equity Partners—a deal that industry observers speculated could spur an earlier sale of EMI.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Kate Holton)