David Bowie is reportedly looking to walk away from EMI – after a 15 year relationship with the label – just weeks after Robbie Williams left the label for Universal.
If true, his departure will come as a blow to the music major, which is currently in the middle of an auction by its owner, Citigroup.
EMI music currently holds the rights to the bulk of Bowie’s back catalogue including classic albums Ziggy Stardust and Space Oddity. His current contract with the label is set to end in January 2012, however a final decision by Bowie has not yet been made.
According to the Financial Times, Bowie’s deal with EMI guaranteed him more than 25% of royalties from wholesale in the US and the artist used the deal as collateral for investors who had bought into his 10-year “Bowie bonds”, which securitised the rights to future royalties.
The success of these bonds led to Guy Hands and his private equity team at Terra Firma to believe that EMI Music Publishing’s catalogue could be securitised in the same way, however this failed to materialise.