Vivendi Nabs EMI for $1.9B, Getting Rights to the Beatles, Snoop Dogg

The company has signed a definitive agreement with Citigroup and will unload $685 million of “non-core assets”

Vivendi has signed a definitive agreement with Citigroup to purchase EMI's music division for $1.9 billion (1.2 billion pounds), the company said Friday.

The British music company is home to  the libraries of such music greats as the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg. It as been on the auction block since Citigroup foreclosed on Terra Firma Capital Partners in February.

Also read: Citigroup Readies Its Troubled EMI for the Auction Block

The private equity firm bought EMI for $6.8 billion in 2007 in a deal financed mostly by debt, but couldn't make its payments. 

As part of the deal to purchase EMI, Vivendi said it would sell off $685 million of "non-core assets." However, the company did not delineate exactly what will be unloaded. 

Vivendi will finance the transaction from its existing credit lines, the company said, and adds to its current music assets which include Universal Music Group. 

The purchase broadens Universal's holdings to include labels such as Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Latin, Capitol Records Nashville, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Records, EMI Records Nashville, Manhattan, Parlophone, Virgin Classics and Virgin Records.

“We are very proud to welcome EMI into the Vivendi family," Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of Vivendi, said in a statement. "We all respect the labels within EMI as well as the artists and employees who contribute to its success. They will find within our Group a safe, long term home, headquartered in Europe.” 

The deal is wrapping up as Sony is reportedly close to buying EMI's publishing division for $2.2 billion.