BMG Rights Management is in talks with Universal Music Group to purchase the European rights to EMI's legendary Parlophone label as part of UMG's s remedies package of assets to be divested in its proposed purchase of EMI's recorded music division, a source close to the situation told Billboard.biz late Thursday. The source said that the move would take the Virgin and EMI imprints, EMI's two other UK labels off of the table.
Parlophone's roster includes Coldplay, Gorillaz, Blur, Kylie Minogue and of course the Beatles, although sources say UMG is not likely to give up the Beatles' catalog.
The source said that Parlophone would satisfy the European Commissions divestment demands, although that remains to be seen. The source also claimed that more than 20 "well-financed" suitors are interested in the divestment properties, including a dozen indie labels, half a dozen major VC companies, and Sony Music - but not Warner Music, who has not contacted UMG about any of the labels that may be up for sale.
A rep for Warner contacted by Billboard.biz declined to comment on the claim.
The source added that UMG expected to submit its long-delayed divestment package within the next couple of business days, possibly as soon as Friday, and that it has added BMG to a list of 21 or so potential buyers with financing.
See Ed Christman's Universal/EMI Deal Looks Likely to Be Approved, But at What Cost to UMG? for an overview of the deal's many movements over the past few weeks.