Robbie Williams leaves EMI for Universal
Robbie Williams leaves EMI for Universal

Robbie Williams, one of the most successful artists on EMI, has left the company and signed with Universal for his next solo LP, according to the Financial Times and other online reports.

"I'm really thrilled to be joining the Universal family at what I think is the most exciting time in my career," Williams said. Universal declined to reveal terms of the one-album deal.

The move certainly doesn't help EMI's ongoing auction, which has brought in lower than expected bids. The company has been "cleaning up" the second-round bids in its auction, sources told Billboard.biz last week, but Citigroup is considering whether to split up the label and publishing divisions or postpone the sale altogether.

EMI: With Bids Low, Company Considers Whether to Split Up or Postpone Sale

Williams signed with EMI in 1996 and although his Stateside profile remains niche, he has been one of the company's biggest international artists.