Tokyo-based label Toshiba-EMI is cutting its payroll by as many as 150 people, industry sources tell Billboard.biz. "Basically they're offering early-retirement packages to everybody over 40," says on

Tokyo-based label Toshiba-EMI is cutting its payroll by as many as 150 people, industry sources tell Billboard.biz.

"Basically they're offering early-retirement packages to everybody over 40," says one source.

Toshiba-EMI currently has some 500 employees.

"It is a fact that Toshiba-EMI is offering ERS (early-retirement system), although we cannot reveal any further details," the label said in a statement released May 30.

The staff cuts at Toshiba-EMI follow similar restructuring moves by foreign-owned labels such as BMG Japan, Columbia Music Entertainment and Warner Music Japan in recent years. EMI Music has a 55% share in Toshiba-EMI, while Tokyo based electronics company Toshiba holds the remainder.

Toshiba-EMI's most recent restructuring move was to sell its CD-pressing plant in Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture, at the end of last year, in line with EMI's global policy of divesting itself of its manufacturing operations.

The current round of cutbacks come in the wake of the April 27 retirement of Toshiba-EMI chairman Masaaki Saito, who was replaced as president of the company this January by Shoji Doyama.

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