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Sony to Cut 326 EMI Publishing Jobs After Purchase Closes

Sony Corp. plans to cut 326 jobs at EMI Publishing within two years after U.S. and European regulators approve its $2.2 billion acquisition of the U.K. music company.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing, jointly owned by Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson, may eliminate 152 positions in the first year, with the rest coming afterward, according to a document by UBS AG, an adviser to Tokyo-based Sony. It lists $39 million in severance costs.

The European Commission will grant regulatory approval to the acquisition tomorrow, the Financial Times reported today. Sony/ATV will administer copyrights of EMI songs for the Japanese company and its investors. The combined catalogs will give Sony/ATV 31 percent of the market, making it the world’s biggest music publisher, according to the document.

Sony estimates $106 million in restructuring costs at EMI Publishing in the two years after the deal closes, according to the document.

The job cuts, amounting to about 60 percent of the staff, will generate $70 million in annual cost reductions, The New York Times reported yesterday, citing a confidential 74-page UBS document.

“Discussing details of any integration plan is premature while the regulatory approval processes are ongoing,” Jimmy Asci, a Sony/ATV spokesman, said in an e-mail. He declined to comment further.

Sony/ATV agreed to buy the unit in November with investors that include music billionaire David Geffen and the Mubadala Development Co., Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund.

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