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EMI in licensing talks to raise 400 mln stg-report

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - British music company EMI is in talks to allow rival labels to manage its back catalogue in order to raise funds and prevent a takeover from its lender, reported the Sunday Times. EMI, which is owned by Guy Hands' private equity group Terra Firma, is trying to put in place a new business plan as it faces a covenant shortfall on its 2.6 billion pounds ($3.95 billion) debt. The group is offering other labels the chance to manage its North American catalogue business for a five-year period, which Terra Firma thinks could raise 400 million pounds, enough to stave off a looming takeover by lender Citigroup, the newspaper said. EMI declined to comment. ($1=.6580 Pound) (Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Hans Peters) Keywords: EMI/SALE (rosalba.obrien@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 7717; Reuters Messaging: rosalba.obrien@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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