EMI Group has sold its 7.71% stake in Kolkata-based music company Saregama India, ending a century-old relationship between both companies.


NEW DELHI -- EMI Group has sold its 7.71% stake in Kolkata-based music company Saregama India, ending a century-old relationship between both companies.

EMI sold its 720,000 shares in Saregama to Mumbai-based investment company Reliance Energy in transactions on the Mumbai Stock Exchange on April 15 and 16. Stock in the company was worth about 100 rupees ($2.29) at the time.

"EMI was the original promoter of the company, but had [recently] been associated with Saregama as a passive investor," says Saregama VP Sanjiv Goenka. "Its investment was more of a portfolio investment."

Saregama managing director Dileep Mehta says the company has been raising money from the stock market via a rights issue. "We plan to raise about 240 million rupees ($5.7 million), which will be used to retire past debts and fund the company's various expansion plans," he says.

Kolkata-based business group RPG now owns over 50% of Saregama, with the balance held by various institutional investors.

Saregama boasts a vast catalog of Indian film music, the dominant musical genre here. In recent years, the company has also diversified into the home-video market, signing licensing deals with the home-video divisions of Universal and Warner, as well as BBC Home Video.