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Parlophone must be sold off before £1.2bn EMI takeover gets go-ahead

Parlophone, the record label behind Kylie Minogue, Coldplay and Blur, is to be sold as a condition of EMI's takeover by Universal, it was reported.

The European Commission, which is expected to sign off Universal's £1.2bn acquisition of EMI this week, has been concerned that the world's biggest music company will be too powerful if it swallows EMI whole.

The Sunday Times said the concession from Universal to offload EMI's Parlophone arm will interest potential buyers such as German media giant Bertelsmann and Mute, the indie label behind Goldfrapp and Moby.

As well as Parlophone, EMI's other record labels include Virgin Records and EMI Records. Its takeover by Universal, which is home to Take That and Rolling Stones, has been opposed by independent record labels.

Universal, which is led by Londoner Lucian Grainge, is expected to raise between €250m (£200m) and €300m (£240m) from the sale of Parlophone and other smaller labels.

EMI, which also owns the Abbey Road studios, was taken over by US bank Citigroup in 2011 after private equity owner Terra Firma was unable to maintain interest payments.