White & Case and Weil lead on $2.3bn Sony acquisition

White & Case and Weil Gotshal & Manges have taken lead roles on Sony’s $2.3bn acquisition of a majority stake in EMI Music Publishing, which owns songs by artists like Sam Smith, Queen and Kanye West.

Sony has bought  Mubadala Investment Company’s 60% stake in EMI to take its total share of the company up to 90%.

White & Case advised Sony on the deal, with New York M&A partners Mort Pierce and Chang-Do Gong at the helm of a team that also included tax partner William Dantzler.

Weil meanwhile advised Mubadala, fielding a team led by Dallas M&A partner James Griffin and New York senior counsel William Gutowitz, which also included executive compensation & benefits partner Michael Nissan, banking and finance partner Daniel Dokos and capital markets partner Faiza Rahman.

Sony’s CEO said the deal was motivated by a desire to capitalise on the rise of paid subscription-based music streaming services.

Sony already owns hits from Michael Jackson, Ed Sheeran and The Beatles, but the EMI acquisition will expand Sony’s music catalogue to approximately 4.5 million songs.

EMI was split into two in 2011, with the recording unit sold to Universal Music, while the consortium including Sony and Mubadala bought the publishing business.

The deal generated roles for a host of firms, including legacy SJ Berwin, Clifford Chance, Baker McKenzie and Weil. Weil advised Mubadala, while other firms advising members of the consortium included Bakers, Allen & Overy and Cleary Gottlieb. Meanwhile CC advised Citigroup and EMI on both sales.

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