EMI secures copyright to Motown classics for pounds 132m

EMI Group, one of the world's largest music publishers, has secured the copyright to 15,000 classic Motown hits such as My Girl and I Heard It Through the Grapevine in a $132m (pounds 80m) deal.

The company has taken a 50 per cent stake in the Jobete companies - Jobete Music Co and Stone Diamond Music Corporation - owned by the founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy. Sir Colin Southgate, EMI's chairman, said yesterday it was likely EMI would buy the remainder of the Jobete companies in the future.

He added that EMI had, through protracted negotiations, gained control of "the greatest private catalogue". Sir Colin said EMI had "been to the altar three times with Berry, but this is the first time we've got married".

The Jobete catalogue includes Motown classics sung by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, the Jackson Five, Lionel Richie and Smokey Robinson. Through the deal, which was funded entirely in cash, EMI has bought the copyright to songs such as Baby Love, Ain't No Mountain High Enough and Reach Out I'll Be There.

Sir Colin said he was confident EMI's full ownership of Mr Gordy's catalogue would not be "decades away". It is thought EMI would take control of the Jobete companies on Mr Gordy's retirement, if not before. Mr Gordy, who will remain chairman of the business, is 67.

Day-to-day operation of the catalogue will be handled by Martin Bandier, chief executive of EMI Music Publishing.

EMI already had a marketing agreement with Mr Gordy outside North America, which will be extended throughout the world as a result of yesterday's acquisition.

City analysts were impressed with the deal. One said the price paid was "not unreasonable" and added: "Consolidation in music publishing is a good idea. Music publishing is a very profitable business." Another said EMI would "do very well" by including the songs in compilations. EMI Music Publishing already owns the copyright to more than 1 million songs, including those by Jamiroquai, M People, and the Prodigy.

Unaudited accounts show that, at 31 December 1995, the Jobete companies had net assets of $45.2m and reported pre-tax profits of $6.7m. The two companies are owned by Mr Gordy and his sister Esther Edwards and was the largest remaining independently owned catalogue. Jobete Music was founded in 1959, and became the music publishing arm of Motown Records.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) - Hertfordshire/Middlesex

£300 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) Watford...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style