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Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 06:21 GMT
Robbie 'offered 40m deal'
Robbie Williams
The singer's last album topped five million sales
Singer Robbie Williams has reportedly been offered a new 40m record deal by British music giant EMI.

Only last week the record company announced that it was to axe 1,800 jobs, or a fifth of its workforce, to cut costs.

But company executives are confident of securing a deal with the pop star, according to the Times newspaper.

The sum is twice as much as EMI's original offer, said the paper.

Reports of the deal come amid speculation that Williams is being chased by American labels.

Chart-topping duet

The performer's last album, the Frank Sinatra-style Swing While You're Winning, has already topped five million sales.

And he reached the Christmas number one slot last year with a duet with actress Nicole Kidman.

The singer had signed with EMI in March 2001 in what was rumoured to be one of the most expensive recording deals ever.

Meanwhile most of EMI's job losses will take effect by the end of the month, the company has already said.

The cuts form part of a wider restructuring exercise aimed at shoring up the heavily-indebted company's battered finances.

Profit warnings

The division's new chairman, Alain Levy, admitted at the time of last week's announcement that it was becoming tougher to attract big names like Williams.

About a third of the redundancies will be in Europe, although it is thought the figure for the UK could be as low as 300.

The strategy review comes after two profit warnings from EMI in the past six months and two failed merger attempts in the past two years.

The company has also blamed the continuing economic downturn in Latin America and Asia, delays to some album releases in Japan and outmoded industry practices for its current difficulties.

But EMI has said it is still on track to make a pre-tax profit of 150m, in line with its previous forecasts.

See also:

20 Mar 02 | Business
EMI announces 1,800 job cuts
20 Mar 02 | Music
EMI cuts: What next?
05 Feb 02 | Business
EMI shake-up amid falling sales
23 Jan 02 | Music
EMI drops Mariah Carey
19 Nov 01 | Business
EMI profits wiped out
15 Oct 01 | Business
EMI signs new music chief
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