The one-minute expert

Your essential companion to this week's big events

In the news because?

Britain's rentals and music giant will this week announce its last results before its planned break up this summer.

How is it doing?

Pretty good. Analysts are predicting profits for the year ending March 31 will be around pounds 520m, up 23 per cent from pounds 423.6m last year.

They must have had a big hit. Was it Blur?

Well, they do have Blur on their books, but the real money spinners were four Liverpool lads - the Beatles.

Not so trendy after all?

The Beatles Anthology, which sold 12.5 million copies, is a bit of a rehash, but the company is following the latest corporate fashion trend by de- merging.

Even though its doing so well as a single company?

That's a bit of a thorny question. Chairman Sir Colin Southgate feels the company's parts are greater than their sum.

How long have the parts been united?

About 17 years. EMI ran into trouble in the late 1970s. The oil crisis devastated its leisure business, while a US law restricted sales of its CAT scanners just as it was spending huge amounts on a new generation.

They scanned cats?

CAT scanners are medical devices that let you see what's going on inside a body - human or feline. It's a bit like an X-ray for organs instead of bones.

What on earth has that got to do with music?

Well, they are somewhat related. CAT scanners use sound waves to probe the body. A scientist at EMI invented the devices. The company's name, after all, used to stand for Electric and Musical Industries.

How did Thorn come into the picture?

Julius Thorn was an immigrant who started selling imported light bulbs in 1928. His business grew into Thorn Lighting which eventually bought EMI.

And now its changed its mind and is selling EMI?

No, EMI is selling Thorn. If shareholders approve it will be floated off as a separate company.

The advantage being . . .

Takeover bonanza. Analysts don't think EMI can survive long by itself. It will be the only big music company in the world not attached to a multi-media conglomerate. Bid fever should drive its shares way up the charts.

So why hasn't anyone bid for the group as a whole?

Investors, it seems, are a bit thick. They can't see EMI's value because its confused with Thorn's.

The value in EMI being its ability to spot new talent?

Almost. Its value is its ability to spot old talent. Or its old ability to spot new talent. The company has more than 1 million recordings dating back to 1897, including its first superstar - operatic tenor Enrico Caruso.

And will Thorn be a takeover target too?

Possibly. That part of the company has successfully adopted American rent-to-own practices. But, let's face it, it's not nearly as sexy as the music biz.

Not that corporate takeovers are driven by sexiness.

Certainly not. Nothing so base. Cold hard industrial logic only.

Tomorrow

Statistics: UK May producer prices.

Interims: Berisford, Treatty.

Finals: Christian Salvesen, Unigate.

TUESDAY

Statistics: April new construction orders, April industrial production.

Interims: NFC, Thorn EMI.

Finals: Amersham International, Babcock International, East Midlands Electricity, Great Portland Estates, Northern Foods, Severn Trent.

WEDNESDAY

Statistics: May jobless, April average earnings, unit wage costs.

Interims: Granada Group.

Finals: BAA, Bristol Water, London Insurance Market.

THURSDAY

Statistics: May retail prices.

Interims: Daily Mail & General Trust, Dewhurst, GWR Group.

Finals: Johnson Matthey, London Electricity, Regalian Properties.

FRIDAY

Finals: Osborne & Little, Yorkshire Electricity.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power