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EMI ends partnership with Toshiba

Music giant takes control of Japanese joint venture

LONDON — EMI Group is paying 21 billion yen ($179 million) to buy out Toshiba’s 45% share in the companies’ Japanese joint venture, TOEMI.

In a statement, EMI said: “TOEMI has been a successful joint venture partnership between EMI and Toshiba that has produced many great artists over the last decades. Both EMI and Toshiba believe it is the right time to unify the ownership structure of TOEMI. EMI remains strongly committed to the Japanese music market and its operations there.”

Already holding 55% of the company, the transaction will see EMI as the 100% owner of TOEMI when the deal completes by the second quarter of 2007. The company will retain the TOEMI name for the time being, at least.

TOEMI’s roster includes some of Japan’s best selling artists, including GLAY, Kyosuke Himuro, Tomoyasu Hotei, Yumi Matsutoya, Sheena Ringo, Utada Hikaru and Eikichi Yazawa.

Japan is the second biggest music market in the world, after the U.S., and in the last financial year TOEMI reported profits before tax of 790 million yen ($6.7 million), while its assets amounted to about $277 million.